Section 6 — Local Church Employees

Policy for Employment of Workers in the Local Church

All local church employees are to be paid through the Conference Office by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (North NSW Conference) Ltd. No wages or salary shall be paid directly to employees from local church funds as to do so is illegal and in breach of several statutory laws.

When churches employ workers such as cleaners, secretaries or Bible Workers, the NNSW Conference Human Resources department should be notified. HR will then organise for an employment pack to be forwarded to the employee to complete. Once completed by the employee, it should be passed to the Pastor or Treasurer to sign off on the Local Church Employee – Authority Form and return to the Conference office.

Payroll is processed on a fortnightly basis by NNSW Conference. Fortnightly wage and on-costs will be charged to the local churches current account.

The local church is permitted pay workers who provide an invoice with a current and valid ABN. However there can be WorkCover implications depending on the situation. Please notify the NNSW Conference HR department if you are paying a contractor for work performed.

Salaries and Wages

All employees in Australia are covered by the National Employment Standards (NES) and must be paid in accordance with these standards. Wages and entitlements must meet the minimum rates and standards as outlined in the NES.

The NES can be viewed at:

All employees must be paid the minimum wage according to the Australian Fair Work Act. These minimum rates are published on the Fair Work Ombudsman website yearly. Increases occur on 1 July each year.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) demands that any form of wages or salaries shall be recorded in standard format and income tax deducted if the amounts paid is in excess of their minimum levels. In any event, PAYG certificates have to be issued to the recipient of such payments regardless of whether income tax is deducted or not.

State legislature requires that every employee or dependent contractor without an ABN must be covered by a Workers' Compensation policy based on the wages/salary and nature of the employment/contract. If a local church pays or remunerates someone, the local conference cannot cover any such employee or dependent contractor for any injury incurred whilst acting as an employee or dependent contractor. Your Conference runs a special fortnightly payroll for any such employee/dependent contractor and only needs to be advised of details of employment.

The government legislation dictates that an employer pays superannuation guarantee of 9.5% for an employee who earns $450 or more in each monthly period and are over 18 years old, or, are under 18 years old and work more than 30 hours per week.

Employment Classification

Employers should notify their employees at the beginning of their employment if they are employed as casual or permanent workers.

Full & Part Time
Full time employees work an average of 38 hours per week and usually have ongoing employment.

There is no standard definition of part time work but it is usually defined as an employee who is engaged to work less than an average of 38 ordinary hours per week and whose hours of work are reasonably predictable, with a guaranteed minimum number of hours of work. Work is usually performed on regular days of the week. A part time employee will usually be entitled to the same employment conditions as a full time employee, but on a pro rata basis compared to the full time hours (usually 38 per week).

Full or part time workers are entitled to the minimum provisions as provided in the National Employment Standards and the Fair Work Act, including:

•    Maximum number of hours of work per week
•    Paid annual and personal (sick) leave
•    Public holidays
•    Notice when they lose their job

For further clarification, view the documents at:

Full and part time workers are also entitled to:

•    Be paid at a higher rate of pay for public holidays worked but are not entitled to be paid for public holidays that they do not work
•    Extra pay (penalty rates) for evening, night and weekend work
•    A minimum length of shift – 1 hour

There is no standard definition of casual work but usually they are positions that are temporary, have irregular hours and are not guaranteed to be ongoing.

Casual workers are entitled to some, but not all, of the benefits given to permanent workers.

A 25% loading is paid to casual employee’s to compensate for no paid leave (annual leave, sick leave) provisions that permanent employees are entitled to, as well as the insecurity of their employment. Under the new Fair Work laws, casuals are protected from being sacked unfairly.

Casual workers can request 12 months of unpaid parental leave if they have been working regular shifts in the same job for 12 months or more, and would have a reasonable expectation of ongoing work.

Casual workers can also access long service leave. The length of service after which this can be taken, and the amount of long service leave the worker should get, will be set out in the award or agreement that covers the work, as well as the relevant State or Territory legislation.

Casual workers are entitled to:

•    Be paid at a higher rate of pay for public holidays worked but are not entitled to be paid for public holidays that they do not work
•    Extra pay (penalty rates) for evening, night and weekend work
•    The same rest breaks as permanent works, including at least 30 minute unpaid break for every five hours of work
•    A minimum length of shift – 1 hour