An Anglican rector who claimed constructive dismissal was not an employee of the Church of England, an employment tribunal has ruled.
The Reverend Mark Sharpe received widespread coverage in the national media in November for his claims that his family had been forced to leave his Worcestershire parish after a campaign of harassment.
Among other things, he said his dog had been poisoned, his car tyres slashed and phone line cut.
The Court of Appeal in Moore at the end of last year held that Methodist ministers were employees and had the same rights as other workers (see solicitorsjournal.com, 21 December 2011).
Giving judgment in a pre-review hearing in Sharpe v Worcester Diocesan Board and the Bishop of Worcester (case no. 1302291/2008), employment judge McCarry said parochial clergy of the Church of England had “always been aware and understood that they are not employees and that general employment law does not apply to them”.
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