Assistance for Chapels / Documents / 9. Employment of Pastor

Employment of Pastor

    The pastor in our churches is usually the holder of an office rather than an employee.  As such the church has the responsibility to operate PAYE and account to HMRC for the tax and national insurance deducted.  In some cases the pastor may be accounting for his own tax through his self-assessment tax return but the church should ensure that it does have authority from HMRC not to operate PAYE and National Insurance.
    During 2012 the government implemented legislation to ensure that all eligible employees are enrolled into a private pension scheme with contributions being made by both employer and employee by 2018. All employers are obliged to comply with such legislation to avoid facing heavy fines from The Pensions Regulator. Each employer has been, or will be given, a “Staging Date” by The Pensions Regulator to begin contributing into a pension scheme. The main criteria to determine employee status and eligibility are age and level of earnings from the employment. If the employees are eligible, both employer and employee must start contributing from the Staging Date unless the employee indicates in writing that they wish to opt out. This opt out must be renewed every three years. Details are available at

  – see Resources – Fact sheets.
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