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Can a Parish Councillor become a paid Parish Clerk

+1 vote
I understand that if a councillor applies for and gets a Parish Clerk position, they have to resign as a councillor but I am also led to believe that they have to carry out that role unpaid for 12 months.  I am not sure how this affects statutory employment rights as I understood that the  Clerk was most definitely an "employee" and not a volunteer?
asked by (130 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
A councillor can be appointed clerk (or any other council officer) and may continue to be a councillor.

However, a councillor may not receive payment for any council office while they remain a councillor, or for twelve months afterwards.

The clerk is indeed an employee, but these provisions are not to do with general employment legislation (such as minimum wage). They are specific legislation relating to the situation of councillors and council employees. It is obvious that there is a fundamental conflict of interest between being a councillor and also being a paid employee of the council.
answered by (27.3k points)
A councillor cannot be a clerk of the council of which he or she is a member, but may be a clerk of another council. If a councillor ceases to be a councillor and takes the post of clerk of the council of which he or she was a member he or she may not be paid for that post for one year.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no such exclusion. It is true that a councillor can be the paid clerk of another council. But it is also true that a council can appoint one of its own members as an officer without remuneration (and as you imply, the bar on remuneration continues for a year after the person ceases to be a councillor). LGA 1972 s. 112(5)  seems to be the relevant provision. This is what a number of small parishes do - having a clerk is ideal, but financial exigencies encourage reliance on a volunteer.
Could be a way forward for small parishes if someone is prepared to do it for free. With computers and efficient systems it would not actually be too much work.

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