Section F. Admin for clergy and lay ministers
F7. Sickness and statutory sick pay
Notifying periods of sickness absences
Common Tenure (Regulation 27(1)) provides that any stipendiary office holder who is unable to perform their duties of office for a period of one working day or longer must report the absence to the HR Administrator in the Diocesan Office. The HR Administrator will inform the Church Commissioners, sending a copy if the notification is in written form, who are required to maintain records of all sickness absences of stipendiary clergy and stipendiary licensed lay workers whose stipend is paid through the Church Commissioners' Clergy Payroll. The Archdeacon will also be informed by the HR Administrator.
For all office holders, including those stipendiary office holders not subject to Common Tenure, a medical certificate is required from your doctor for any illness that lasts more than one week. Again this should be sent to the HR Administrator in the Diocesan Office who will send a copy on your behalf to the Church Commissioners and also let the Archdeacon know. It is appreciated that non stipendiary clergy may need a medical certificate for other purposes in which case a copy may be sent to the HR Administrator.
It is important to stipendiary office holders to follow these procedures as not to do so could prejudice an application for state sickness benefits at that time or subsequently. There is further information on the Clergy Payroll Services section of the Church of England website including a link to a form for reporting sickness absence from duties.
Stipend during illness and Statutory Sick Pay
Subject to any direction of the Bishop, with the concurrence of the Worcester Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd (WDBF), stipend will be paid during sickness absence on the following basis (which will include any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) entitlement payable during the first 28 weeks of absence. If any further guidance is needed on the matter of SSP please contact the Church Commissioners.):
- in full during the first 28 weeks of absence
- at half rate during the next 24 weeks of absence (this payment is by the Bishop and the WDBF exercising their discretion to make payments above the minimum level recommended by the Central Stipends Authority)
subject to these benefits being the maximum payable during any rolling 12 months' period starting with the first day of your sickness absence.
Any period of part-time work recommended by a medical practitioner would be paid on its own terms prorata to a full stipend subject to stipend not being less than the level paid during a period of sickness as set out above. It is important that the Church Commissioners, (and if you are in receipt of the state benefit of "employment and support allowance", the Benefits Agency), are kept advised of any such part-time work. Any work, including that for therapeutic reasons, should only be undertaken during a period of illness when your medical practitioner has given written recommendation / certification.
The Church Commissioners will advise as to procedures for claiming the state benefit of "employment and support allowance" after the first 28 weeks of sickness. Such benefit payments will not affect the adjustment of your stipend as referred to above. You would however need to keep the Benefits Agency advised about payments of stipend and return to work, whether full or part-time.
Statutory Fees during periods of sickness
Where statutory fees have been assigned to the DBF the position is that any such fees should be sent to the DBF by whoever takes the service, subject to the arrangements we have in this diocese for retired clergy to retain them.
Where statutory fees have not been assigned the incumbent then is responsible for the fees of the locum minister (with the net fee income being taken into the following year's stipend.)
Exceptionally during long term sickness periods of stipendiary clergy a request for any additional expenses incurred by the PCC may be submitted to the Diocesan Board of Finance for consideration. This will be decided by the Archdeacon and Diocesan Secretary.