04.03: Appendix: Further legal, ethical, and operational considerations of dual-employment relationships

Legal considerations

Legally speaking, if our company worker is doing work for a privately owned for-profit business, as long as she/he is considered dually-employed (employed by our company for the ministry assignment and employed by the business for their role in the business) and our company's ministry assignment does not describe roles and responsibilities related to the business, our company is operating within a legally acceptable framework. We must maintain distinction between the two job roles, responsibilities, and expectations for the worker to be considered dually-employed. Legally speaking, it doesn't matter whether the second employer is in the same location as our company's assignment. Treating the worker as dually-employed (and properly maintaining distinctions in employment activities) covers our company related to any legal issues. A field worker must have his/her company supervisor approve any dual-employment arrangement.

Ethical considerations

Incarnational ministry is the primary way that field workers begin to making disciples in ministry assignments. Incarnational ministry involves the sum of our words, deeds, and being, our presence witness and intentional proclamation, along with discipleship activities. It is not possible to classify incarnational ministry as a "9-5 job," nor is it appropriate to compensate it as such. Our company's cost-of-living support philosophy is based on the premise of providing adequate support to a person or family to live in a specific location in order to accomplish a ministry assignment. This support philosophy is congruent with the incarnational ministry model, because it is not based on a worker's merit or time spent on ministry activities. A worker is always being "on the job" and working toward accomplishing the ministry assignment, regardless of whether she/he has a second job.

Because a worker is always on the job, if a worker is also working in a privately owned for-profit business, he/she is, in theory, performing two jobs simultaneously. However, this understanding opens the door to potential misuse, whereby our company could be seen as improperly benefiting business owners through subsidized labor and/or by compensating workers for jobs that are not accomplishing charitable purposes distinct from the business's commercial interests.

As a safeguard against abuse that would result in improper benefit to a business owner or the appearance that our company's workers are being compensated by our company for non-charitable work, our company's Business for Transformation guidelines recommend that a worker is paid by the second employer at least the equivalent of a prevailing wage according to the local economy's standards for their position and responsibilities. If the business pays a worker the prevailing wage, the business is fulfilling its responsibility and our company is not improperly benefiting a business. 

Additionally, because our company's support philosophy is based on living support to accomplish a ministry assignment, our company's support requirements appropriately consider a worker's income from all sources. As such, living support provided by our company may be adjusted to reflect income from other sources.

When our company's worker is dually employed with our company and a privately-owned for-profit business, and the worker is also an owner in that business, the worker stands to benefit from the profits of the business regardless of whether those profits are paid out. As such, it is potentially in the owner/worker's interest to minimize expenses paid out in salary in order to maximize profit. Because of the subjectivity involved in determining a reasonable prevailing wage and because of the conflict of interest an owner has in determining his/her own salary in the business, our company believes that best practices recommend appointing such workers as Marketplace Workers. Then they cease to be employees of our company and do not receive salary and benefits from our company. This avoids the appearance of improper benefit, even if no improper benefit actually occurs. 

However, if a worker's salary from the business is not enough to provide an adequate living standard, and the business is not making adequate profit to provide a higher salary, the worker's supervisor could approve a dual-employment arrangement. The business owner/our company's worker should then provide the supervisor with the business's financial statements at least annually, to verify the business's financial state. 

These guidelines are to address moral considerations arising from dual-employment models and best practices. Our company considers it best practice to have a business provide full financial support to workers who are engaged in incarnational ministry assignments because: it is sustainable; avoids issues associated with mixing nonprofit and for-profit resource; strengthens the vocational identity among the community where they are ministering (i.e., no perception of being paid to make converts); and strengthens the security of workers in restricted access countries, because it puts our company at an arm's length relationship to the worker.

Operational considerations

Some employers may not allow employees to take second jobs because they can impair workers' abilities to perform job responsibilities. However, unless it is expressly or implicitly disallowed in the employment contract, and if the employee is adequately performing his/her job responsibility, an employer would not necessarily be able to restrict employees from taking second jobs. 

With Business for Transformation, our company has allowed its field workers to be dually-employed because our company believes that fulfilling the company ministry assignment may actually be enhanced through employment with a business. We hold this belief strongly when the ministry assignment is in the same location as the business because of our company's incarnational model of ministry. 

Generally speaking, our company views a second job outside of the location of the ministry assignment as potentially impairing a worker's ability to accomplish the ministry assignment; a remote second job pulls him/her away from the ministry assignment location. However, dual-employment might still be approved if the second job is contributing importantly in some other way to our company's purposes, even if it is not directly related to their ministry assignment, or if involvement with the second job would not significantly impair the worker's ability to accomplish his/her ministry assignment. The worker’s supervisor must decide whether a remote second employment arrangement would impair the worker's ability to accomplish a ministry assignment, and to what degree flexibility is afforded to the worker to accommodate a second remote job (if that job is in some important way contributing to our company's purposes).

Our company generally does not have remote ministry assignments for its field workers because remote assignments do not follow the incarnational model of ministry. Exceptions to this are sometimes made for those who previously served long-term in a location and return to that location from time to time to maintain relationships, encourage local believers, and work at transitioning ministry leadership or consulting/coaching with new field workers. 

If a person also owns a business in the location of the remote ministry assignment, our company would be cautious about approving the remote ministry assignment because of the potential for misuse, whereby business trips may be classified inappropriately as ministry trips and time spent working remotely on the business may be inappropriately classified as ministry. This concern relates to legal and ethical concerns for the appropriate use of non-profit resources; as such, if our company approves a remote ministry assignment for a location where a worker owns a business, our company recommends that the business pays expenses related to travel to/from the location and that the business compensates the worker for time spent working remotely on activities relating to the business. This helps to avoid appearance of improper benefit.