Clergy may get employment rights
Clergy may soon be able to take their bishops to employment tribunals if they believe they have been unfairly sacked or badly treated, reports the Daily Telegraph.
A Church of England working party has said that clergy should be granted all the employment rights enjoyed by other workers except one - the right to refuse to work on Sundays.
In a review to be debated by the General Synod, the working party says that rights such as maternity and paternity leave and the minimum wage should be enshrined in Church law.
But the review adds that clerics must perform their jobs competently or face dismissal by new diocesan panels.
Clergy have been pressing the Government to overturn a 1997 Court of Appeal decision that they cannot take their grievances to employment tribunals because their employer is God.
About a thousand of them are members of the Amicus trade union, which claims that clergy are regularly the victims of bullying bishops.
Clergy accused of serious misconduct will still be tried in Church tribunals and plans for heresy courts are also being drawn up.