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Employment lawyer calls time on unfair dismissal claims for Methodist ministers

21st May 2013

The unfair dismissal claim involved Haley Preston, a Superintendent Minister in Redruth Cornwall, who claimed she had been pressured into resigning from her post.

Originally, Ms Preston was refused a hearing at an employment tribunal, but in a 2009 Court of Appeal hearing judges ruled in her favour.

However, the church took the case to the Supreme Court and Justices have now ruled that Methodist ministers work under a covenant with God – not under en employment law contract with Methodist Church leaders.

The one dissenting judgement in the case came from Baroness Hale who said, “Everything about this arrangement looks contractual.”

While this ruling applies solely to the Methodist church, it may serve as guidance for employment lawyers and their clients regarding the future success of unfair dismissal and employment law claims for other ministers.


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