January 19, 2018

Hey David … I’m working on our church’s cell phone policy and wondering if you have any resources that address that?

DRF—Here is some policy thoughts on that: “Cell phones are a part of our personal and professional lives. There are issues regarding safety, security and privacy. Mute your phone within the office. Don’t take calls during meetings, unless it is a personal or ministry emergency. Keep personal texting to a minimum during the workday, as also with social media. If possible, make personal calls during breaks or lunch. For safety’s sake, only use a hands-free mode while driving, if at all. If you have minors in the car, the driver cannot be on the phone. The driver must pull over to the shoulder to make or take a phone call. For security, have a good password in use on your phone. Set the phone to auto lock after a short period of time. You must have the ability to lock your phone if it is stolen. If you violate this policy, you are subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of your employment.” 

And what about reimbursing staff for their cell phone use. Any ideas?

DRF—I’m not a fan of reimbursing because people have different plan levels. Instead, I favor cell phone allowances. They are taxable but they do pay for ministry work done on them. You can set allowance levels, such as: Level 1—Directors and Pastors; Level 2—Team Leaders; Level 3—Senior Leadership. Do remember that if a non-exempt employee (such as a facility worker or administrative assistant) takes a phone call after hours, it must be put on their time card.