Employment law - things you need to know | Christian Vocations

Employment law - things you need to know

Covid-19 update
For specific information relating to Employment Law during the coronavirus pandemic, visit the Employment Law section on our Covid-19 Resource Hub.


1.  Mark Mason articles

Mark is an employment lawyer and network associate of Global Connections. Mark advises employers and employees on all aspects of employment law and human resources practice and represents Claimants and Respondents in Employment Tribunal proceedings. Mark is experienced in advising churches and mission agencies on employment law and HR in their particular context.

Mark writes occasional articles for Christian Vocations on some of the topics that he is most commonly asked to advise on by churches and mission agencies. All these articles are available to download, and so far cover the following areas:

  • Volunteers and Equality Law - it is right and proper that charities treat their volunteers with respect and value their contribution to the charity. But what, if any, legal rights do volunteers have if they feel they have been discriminated against?
  • How should we go about recruitment and selection? - the law does not specify the method by which employers must recruit staff. What the law does require is that employers do not discriminate in their recruitment practices. So, what does that mean for employers and, in particular, employers with a religious ethos? 
  • There is no such thing as an intern - there is no legally recognised employment status of “intern” and so organisations offering internships need to be clear on which of the legally recognised statuses applies to the particular arrangement that is being put in place.
  • Reflecting your Christian ethos in your HR documents - would someone know that your organisation has a Christian ethos from reading your HR documents? This short article gives some general ideas for how to do so. 
  • The Equality Act – Occupational Requirement - what are the circumstances where a church, mission agency or Christian charity can legitimately assert in a recruitment exercise that the post-holder must be a Christian? 
2.  Guide to running a good recruitment process

This comprehensive guide is designed to help Christian organisations and Christian churches understand and think through the different stages of the recruitment and selection process. It also clearly addresses how UK law impacts recruitment activities in the Christian sector. 

3.  Other helpful links

Recruitment Matters - sign up for Christian Vocations quarterly eNews with resources, advice and guidance for those recruiting in the UK Christian church and charity sector.

Advertise with us - Christian Vocations is the UK's most comprehensive Christian jobs website. The UK jobs section alone had an average of 34,000 page views each month in 2019.

Recruitment and selection

  • Recruitment – key points - a really helpful general introductory webpage from Acas.
  • Recruiting Staff - this downloadable Acas guide is aimed at employers looking to handle recruitment themselves, and goes through the stages of hiring a new employee up until their first day. 
  • Recruitment: an overview - the recruitment process involves working through a series of stages: defining the role, attracting applications, managing the application and selection process, and making the appointment. This helpful factsheet from CIPD (the professional body for HR and people development) covers all these areas.
  • Hiring staff – free downloadable Acas documents to help in hiring staff, from sample job descriptions and person specifications, to application forms and more.
  • 6 things you can't ask in a job interview - blog post from Ellis Whitam highlighting 6 key areas where employers are particularly vulnerable to violating equality laws when they interview candidates.
  • Job Ads - what not to say - the biggest danger employers face when drafting job adverts is falling foul of discrimination law. What can you say and what can’t you say?

Volunteers and interns

The legal aspects:

Good Practice and other resources:

  • Top Tips for Recruiting Volunteers - with specific advice for keeping volunteers safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Volunteering England Good Practice Bank has an array of resources and services designed to help and support anyone who works with volunteers.
  • KnowHowNonProfit has resources to help those who recruit or manage volunteers.
  • Volunteer Internships in the Voluntary Sector - review and guidance from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
  • Volunteers and the Law - although published in 2005 (by the sadly gone Volunteering England), the law on volunteers and employment rights has not changed, and is the same throughout the UK. This excellent publication is free to download.
  • LDHR: Leadership Development & Human Resources site, designed to help build healthy people, leaders and teams in mission