A church rarely expects it will have to let an employee go, but the need may arise, either because of poor performance or because of economic pressures. Below is a general checklist to review before starting the process of ending someone's employment with your church.
Do we make it a policy to document all issues concerning personnel? Yes ___ No ___
Do we have a personnel manual that all employees must read and sign? Yes ___ No ___
Are we aware there are differences as to how we can and should dismiss clergy versus non-clergy employees? Yes ___ No ___
Do we have a system that documents performance and warnings in writing as part of the employee's records? Yes ___ No ___
Do we, as a church, have an attorney that we can seek advice from regarding employment, dismissal, and other legal matters? Yes ___ No ___
Do we always have a clear plan that we will
execute regarding the dismissal
of an employee? Yes ___ No ___
Do we assess the potential for physical harm, and have we taken steps to protect church leaders and other staff? Yes ___ No ___
Do we utilize a second person present anytime we must fire an employee? Yes ___ No ___
Do we utilize a signed severance letter stating the actions necessary on the part of the dismissed employee? Yes ___ No ___
Do we always escort the dismissed employee as they collect their belongings and walk out of the building? Yes ___ No ___
Do we make it a point to immediately collect the employee's keys and any other church-owned property they have in their
possession? Yes ___ No ___
Do we consider the best approach to notify other staff and the congregation as to details surrounding the dismissal, and have those details been reviewed by the church attorney? Yes ___ No ___
Are we consistent across the board in our written warning and dismissal
policies? Yes ___ No ___
Do we make sure we incorporate prayer into the entire process? Yes ___ No ___
From "Dismissing Employees and Volunteers," a downloadable training resource available on ChurchSafety.com.
Copyright © 2009 by the author or Christianity Today/Your Church magazine.
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