Premium guideline: Whether ministers of religion can be workers for compensation purposes

This court ruling shows what sorts of things courts will take into account when deciding whether a pastor, rabbi, imam, etc. counts as a worker for compensation purposes.

Last updated

Jul 2014

Reading level

medium

File Type and Size

PDF, 137.31 kB

Document Length

3 pages

What it contains

A minister of religion is not automatically exempt from being classified as a ‘worker’, just because of the religious nature of their work. In deciding whether a minister counts as a worker, courts will look at whether there was an attempt to create a legal relationship between the minister and their religious organisation.

For example, the rector in this case was

  • entitled to superannuation contributions
  • given a formal letter detailing their stipend and allowances
  • expected to obey the bishop, even though their day-to-day activities weren’t closely monitored.