That we accept this as a working paper, and if it needs to be revised, it be brought forward for further consideration at a future meeting of the House. CARRIED #8-11-83
MATERNITY BENEFITS FOR ANGLICAN CLERGYWOMEN
(A National House of Bishops Proposal - October 1983)
The following guidelines are presented to Dioceses to enable the development of maternity benefits for ordained women working in the Anglican Church of Canada. Dioceses are requested to keep the National House of Bishops informed about changes made in implementing these suggestions.
As a church which ordains women we have a new responsibility for ministering to those we employ, and for furnishing means of supporting their ministry. The Church welcomes the concern for women, children and family which is expressed in legislation and agreements. Nine out of ten provinces in Canada have legislation to ensure maternity leave and benefits for working women as a basic employment standard. The Federal Public Service goes well beyond provincial requirements in allowing 37 weeks leave. A number of companies include generous benefits in contracts with their employees, some providing for up to one year's leave.
The Church places a high value on the welfare of the whole family and is committed to provide leadership in upholding the quality of family life and of human development. The document outlines important aspects of what this means especially in negotiations with its female clergy.
In the Anglican Church of Canada, National Church House has led the way in adopting the provincial legislation of Ontario, with the added benefit of six weeks full pay at the beginning of maternity leave. In doing this the Church bears witness to the fuller life of community with God (Rev. 21:1-5) of whose perfect expression it represents the foretaste. (Acts 2: 42-47)
MATERNAL/PATERNAL LEAVE FOR CLERGY
1. PREGNANCY LEAVE
In accordance with the laws of each province, there shall be a flexible 16 to 18 week leave of absence for ordained women who have been employed for at least 12 months. Such persons shall be paid full salary for six weeks at the beginning of the pregnancy leave. (This includes the two-week waiting period required by the Unemployment Insurance Commission).
Unemployment Insurance will then pay 60% of average insurable earnings for the last 20 weeks of employment, to a maximum of $174 per week, for a period of 10 to 12 weeks, depending upon the provincial legislation. Due to the nature of clergy pay schemes realistic attention must be paid to car and housing allowances as well as stipend, in the light of the individual's need, the employer's financial resources, and any government regulations which may apply.
The ordained women must give at least one month's notice, in writing, of the date when the pregnancy leave will begin, together with a medical certificate, estimating the date of delivery. Subject to medical advice, a pregnancy leave shorter than 17 weeks may be chosen, but in no event shall it be shorter than six weeks.
2. PARENTING LEAVE
The mother along with the diocesan consultant* shall negotiate with the parish or other employer for an extended unpaid leave following the 16 to 18 week leave period of up to 8 weeks. Beyond that, the position and benefits will be open for negotiation with the parish, or other employer.
If both parents are clergy and choose to share an unpaid parenting leave it would be advisable for all parties to be as clear as possible about their expectations concerning leaves, pensions and other benefits and contracts.
Leave may be given in cases of adoption of a child up to six years of age in accordance with provincial legislation. Following such leave, an extended unpaid parenting leave may be negotiated with the parish or other employer, together with the diocesan consultant. If both parents are clergy, the leave may be granted to the mother or father, depending on who is giving principal care to the child, or the parents may negotiate to share the leave period.
The current provision by the parish for housing, heating, pensions, etc. shall be maintained for the duration of the initial 17 week period of leave.
Every effort shall be made to arrange for an individual who has been granted leave of absence to return to a position comparable to the position held prior to taking the leave. Pension rights and other rights shall be maintained, and normal increments shall be granted.
6. PENSION, MEDICAL INSURANCE PLANS, ETC.
Normally pension and insurance rights shall be maintained for at least the initial 16 - 18 week period, as long as the individual concerned feels able to maintain their own personal contribution toward them. If they are not able and willing to do so, and in any case if any extended leave is negotiated after the birth, pension and other contributions may have to be frozen.
"Maternity Leave in Canada." published by the Intergovernmental Committee on Women in Employment, February 1980. Available from the Women's Bureau of Labour Canada, or from provincial committees Regulations of each province.
Provisions for Pregnancy Leave in effect at National Church House.
Maternal/Paternal Leave Policy for Members of the Order of Ministry, United Church of Canada.
Note: This paper is a response to a Draft Report prepared by a Task Force of the General Synod Committee on Ministry prepared by Representatives of the Anglican Clergy Women, Diocese of Niagara amended by the National House of Bishops ad hoc Task Force October 1983.
* The diocesan consultant is to be a church person who has expertise in these negotiations. The person is appointed by the bishop.