The policies on sexual misconduct, workplace violence and harassment, and police records checks are particularly relevant to safety.
Three policies are particularly relevant to making United Church ministries and workplaces safe for all who use them. Related information can also be found on the Safe Spaces in a Global Context page.
Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response
The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy (under Downloads, below), formerly called the Sexual Abuse Prevention and Response Policy, responds to complaints of abuse of power by those in leadership within the church.
The United Church will not tolerate, and will seek to eradicate, any behaviour by its members, lay and order of ministry, adherents, or employees that constitutes sexual abuse or child abuse…. Complaints of sexual abuse or child abuse will be taken seriously and will be dealt with in a spirit of compassion and justice.
Several changes to this policy came into effect on July 1, 2017:
- the decision to be made on receipt of a complaint is whether the respondent should be placed on administrative leave with pay and benefits (formerly, suspension)
- ministry personnel are required to take a refresher on boundaries training every five years
- a national pool of consultants are available to work with the parties through the complaint process
For more information on this policy, please contact the Ministry and Employment Policy Coordinator at 1-800-268-3781.
If you are at risk and in need of immediate assistance to ensure your personal safety, call 911 for police services.
If you are aware of behaviour that is inappropriate, but you are not in immediate danger, please contact Complaint Response for information about how to bring a complaint.
If you wish to contact a consultant directly, a list of consultants who are trained and available to respond to you is available under Downloads, below.
Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Violence Policy
The Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Violence Response Policy (under Downloads, below), has been extensively revised as of July 2022. This policy applies to all communities of faith and congregations, and to the General Council and regional council offices, as well as other church organizations that adopt this policy. Communities of faith may elect to use this policy or develop their own customized one provided their policy complies with their provincial or territorial legislation related to discrimination, harassment, and violence. For more information on this policy, contact your regional council office.
Police Records Checks Policy
Under the Police Records Checks policy (under Downloads, below), as of July 1, 2017, police records checks, levels one and two, are required on entry (or re-entry) into the United Church of members of the order of ministry, designated lay ministers or DLM applicants, candidates, and those seeking admission, readmission, or ministry partnership status. Thereafter, an online form is required to be completed by June 29 each year (under Downloads, below) that certifies that the person has not been charged with a criminal offence in the preceding year. The first filing is due by June 30, 2018. Ministry personnel are still required to comply with The Manual (J.10.2) provision that they notify their court of accountability if they are charged with a criminal offence.
For more information on this policy and its implementation, please contact your Office of Vocation minister.
- Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy and Procedures (Oct 2023) (920.35 KB) (PDF)
- Sexual Misconduct Complaints: We Can Help (252.38 KB) (PDF)
- Sexual Misconduct Complaints: We Can Help - Korean (747.57 KB) (PDF)
- Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Violence Response Policy (2023) (993.93 KB) (PDF)
- Consultants: Workplace Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policies (27.29 KB) (PDF)
- Police Records Checks (January 2019) (296.28 KB) (PDF)
- Policies on Harassment and Misconduct (flyer) (152.03 KB) (PDF)