The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UA) recommend that congregations develop an employee handbook. An employee handbook or manual is an opportunity for congregations to share important information with their employees about their compensation and personnel policies. This management tool allows for more transparent and consistent personnel practices, guiding congregations to make employee decisions based on considered, established policies. Congregations can use this tool to communicate what employees can expect from the congregation as well as what will be expected of them by their employer.
As well, a Personnel Policy Manual is a useful tool for Boards and Personnel Committees who oversee such matters. Given the significant provincial-by-provincial variations in employment laws and regulations, it is not possible to prepare a model Personnel Policy Manual that will work effectively for all provinces. Thus, each congregation must understand the importance of having its Manual reviewed by an attorney familiar with the employment laws of the region in which the congregation is located before the Manual is finalized.
Here are some samples of human resources and staffing manuals shared by some of our congregations:
Examples of the above documents in use by Canadian congregations are included for information only – they can offer you guidance and suggestions for policies, procedures and practices you may want to modify and formalize. The provisions are not mandated by the CUC or the UUA; they are derived from governmental legal requirements and Congregation policies(?). In addition, some of the provisions are simply good management practices. The manual will be used most effectively as a jumping off point for identifying the important questions to be addressed by the governance body of the congregation.