The church‘s internal policies

The Christian churches in Germany have enacted labour laws and established internal guidelines stemming from their right of self-determination. In the Catholic Church and its associated facilities, this internal guideline is called "Fundamental Order of the Church Service concerning the Working Conditions of the Church" (GrO). It was passed in 1993 and revised in 2011. In the Evangelical Church and its associated facilities, the "Directive on the Requirements of Professional Employeeship" (Loyalty Directive, LR) came into force in 2005.

Catholic employers expect staff to accept and observe the principles of the Catholic faith and morals § 4 para. 1 sent. 1 GrO. According to internal rules, all staff members of the Catholic Church are expected to be members of the Catholic Church and to perform the pastoral, catechetical, and educational services in particular senior staff. In most cases, jobs within a Catholic organisation are advertised with the requirement of membership in the Catholic Church.

In § 4 para. 2 sent. 1 LR, the Evangelical Church and the Diaconia require that their employees acknowledge the Scriptures and their commitment to the Scriptures.

If the employees are engaged in preaching, pastoral care, teaching or senior management, it is expected that they lead a lifestyle both on and off-duty that corresponds to their assumed responsibility § 4 para. 2 sent. 2 LR. Being a member of the staff requires in principle the membership of a member church of the Evangelical Church in Germany. Nevertheless, the Protestant/Evangelical church allows some exceptions. For manifesting "distantly-related" activities, such as the junior management, maintenance, cleaning, etc., if no Protestant employees can be found, the church may hire another member of the ‘Church Council of Christian Churches in Germany’ or the ‘Association of Evangelical Free Churches’. The provision allows the church in individual cases, to consider the size of the department or agency and its other workforce as well as the duties to be performed and the particular environment, if religious affiliation cannot be fulfilled. Nevertheless, vacancies of the Protestant Church and Diaconia are usually advertised with the expectation of a membership in the Evangelical Church.

If you are interested in how the guidelines impact the employment relationship between church employer/ee, you can find more information here.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011