Bishops agree with MPs pushing for passage of paid family leave, health insurance for lay and clergy employees – Episcopal Press Service

Bishops agree with MPs pushing for passage of paid family leave and health insurance for lay and clergy employees

By Melody Woerman

Posted 2 hours ago

[Episcopal News Service — Baltimore, Maryland] On July 9, the House of Bishops endorsed previous actions by the House of Representatives, passing two resolutions that would provide paid family leave and health insurance to lay and clergy employees under the denominational health plan.

Resolution A003 urges, but does not require, dioceses to adopt a uniform paid family leave policy for all employees, which can be paid through insurance products that employers purchase from the Church Pension Group or other companies commercial insurance, once these products become available.

The resolution states that paid family leave “is a matter of justice which we as Christians are obligated to address without further delay, and that from the outset said policy should provide for parity between lay employees and clergy.”

At a minimum, the resolution requires dioceses to provide paid parental or bonding leave as well as paid caregiver leave lasting between six and 16 weeks, with job protection for employees who take it. takes. The dioceses will decide which family members are eligible for this provision, as well as the level of compensation to be paid, the minimum being 70% of usual salary, ranging up to 100%, depending on the coverage an employer wish to buy.

A modification Resolution D034 creates a new working group to provide advice on the Faith-Based Health Plan, which is provided by the Church Pension Group and which churches and dioceses are required to provide to clergy and certain lay employees. The task force is responsible for reviewing the structure and offerings of the existing health plan, with particular attention to the cost of premiums. It will provide the 81st General Convention in 2024 with options to reduce health insurance costs in The Episcopal Church.

When several bishops questioned whether the unique circumstances in their dioceses would be taken into account by the task force, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said that as one of the people responsible for appointing task force members , he would ensure that these concerns were raised.

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