Unite the Union

Unite the Union

August 31, 2007 11:14 ET

Monday 3rd September 2007: Unite Calls for Employment Protection for the Clergy

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2007) - On the day (Monday 3rd September) when a tribunal for Tom Ambrose begins Unite the Union is renewing its call for employment rights for all faith workers in the UK.

Unite says that this case is another illustration of the urgent need for UK clergy to be given the same employment rights as other workers.

Following a dispute within the parish, over day-to-day management issues, Vicar Tom Ambrose from Trumpington, Cambridge has endured over seven years of insecurity about his future through various attempts to remove him from his job.

Rachael Maskell, Unite National Officer for the Clergy, says: "Unite believes that UK clergy must be entitled to the same employment protection as other workers. The treatment of Tom Ambrose is another illustration of the failures in the system to protect faith workers in the UK. We have supported Tom throughout this case. Unite believes that until the exception from employment rights, as set out in law, is removed Ministers of Religion will continue to be treated unfairly, without the basic human right of protection at work".

Unite has been campaigning to end the current practice in the UK where cases have to go through the Employment Tribunal System in order to adjudicate whether a Minister of Religion has the right to go to an Employment Tribunal over their actual case.

Tom Ambrose says: "I would like to thank Unite for their ongoing support over the last seven years. Only an independent trade union can give my colleagues and I the basic employment protection we deserve. It is simply unfair that we can lose our jobs, our licence to work and also our homes, without being able to be defended by a trade union."

- Notes to Editors -

Section 23 of the Employment Relations Action 1999 excludes Ministers of Religion from the protection enjoyed by other workers.

The tribunal of Tom Ambrose begins on Monday 3rd September at St Mary le Bow Church, Cheapside London EC4 commencing at 10 a.m.

Unite is a professional trade union that represents over 2,500 Ministers of Religion. Unite has 2 million members in a range of sectors.

Contact Information

  • Unite Press Office
    Saba Mozakka
    020 7420 8916 or 07768 693 953