Maybe you fancy a chance to do something traditional, eat some mince pies, sing a few carols by candle light, or something?
Well if you’re in the Exeter area then you have www.findacarolservice.com, yes the picture is a little cheesy, yes there is bug in the database (put a space in your post code – or its odd), and no my own C of E church isn’t in there… oh and there seems to be a church called NULL…
Right. After last weeks attack of the downer. Heres this weeks roundup:
In the Blogging world, Sara Batts looks how she see’s herself verses how people see her in church, while in the week that England drop out of a world cup before it even begins Jon Butler looks at sports fans in the Bible. On a Christmas theme; Richard Littledale asks preachers if they focus on both joy and suffering at Christmas time, looking at suffering, Bishop Nick Bains asks if Christians are suffering from a persecution complex?
The Exeter Guinness Care Trust Christmas saga seems to be rolling on with the Exeter Bishop stepping into the “action”:
In an unusually strong statement he said: “This is a cynical use of the equality agenda to exploit care workers who are already often among the lowest-paid in our society.
“Care workers carry out a hugely important role in the life and health of our communities and are already poorly rewarded for what they do. To deny them the opportunity to be with their families on Christmas Day, and to fail to properly reward them for that sacrifice, is to further exploit them.
“The company, Guinness Care and Support, speaks of ethics and equality, but I don’t think it is at all serious about either.
“Its policy prioritises the non-religious over the religious. A policy of true equality would recognise the importance of Christmas Day and Easter Day for Christians and allow other workers to nominate two different days to reflect their own faith, or other commitments. The company is trying to hide its Scrooge-like meanness behind the language of equality.”
While The Church Sofa lads generally tend to not agree with the Bishop, this time around with do agree that the Guinness Trust does seem to be hiding behind “equality” in an attempt to simply not want to award their staff. One thing that he does seem to take for granted is that people are being told they have to work on Christmas Day, without being given any other option. Hopefully the Guinness Trust are showing some Christmas Spirit..?
“The owner of eight city care homes is refusing to pay staff extra for working on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – because it said it cannot recognise one religious festival over others.
Guinness Care and Support said it had an “ethical belief in equality” which meant it did not favour Christmas over other religious celebrations and cannot pay staff extra for working them.
It said it only paid bonuses for bank holidays, which rules out Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year because they fall at the weekend.”
“One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said they were stunned by the announcement: “We have learnt that senior head office management have decided that all staff who work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be paid standard flat rate wages with no bonuses whatsoever.
“The management themselves are on two weeks’ annual leave. It has come as a shock and left us all stunned.””
Mick Green, senior human resources manager for Guinness Care and Support, said he appreciated the hard work of staff who will keep the homes running throughout the festive period.
But he said: “We would like to make our position on pay clear – we have a strong ethical belief in equality and diversity and are unable to recognise one religious festival over others.
“Our policy is not to pay extra when staff work during a religious festival.”
Many many questions here:
Is this a case of people wanting a Christian Religious holiday recognised, or do they just want to be paid more?
Are there going to be any Christmas decorations up anywhere?
If someone belonging to another faith wanted to take a day for religious reasons, would that be refused?
Is there anyone involved with Guinness Care who feels pressured to work on Christmas day?
Or is this case of management (who will be on holiday) not wanting to spend any extra money on staff, and not simply coming out and saying so?
UPDATE: The Bishop of Exeter has realised a statement following up on the above.