In the face of poor economic forecasts and budget shortfalls, the Holy See is to take various measures to reduce expenditure.
These include a hiring freeze, non-renewal of temporary contracts, and a ban on permanent contracts. Overtime is also to be viewed as an exception but working on Sunday will still qualify for overtime rates.
The new management structure was circulated to all of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia last week and signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The circular said that the new rules must be adopted “immediately” in view of the Holy See’s Financial Estimates for 2014.
Emergencies created by a lack of temporary staff are expected to be covered by volunteering “provided that they strictly comply with the provisions of law,” the memo said. It also asked that employees “generously take on” the workload of those colleagues who leave or retire.
The news comes after external auditors were brought in to review the state of Vatican finances and found the Curia was costing too much to run, particularly with regards to staff costs.
Pope Francis reportedly wishes to progressively reduce staff costs but without recourse to any redundancies or layoffs, or measures that might cause problems for personnel with families.
About 2,800 people work for the Holy See and its revenues come from dioceses and religious orders, investment returns, and profits from Vatican institutions.
The instruction was issued on Feb. 13, shortly before the Vatican announced the Pope was creating a new Secretariat for the Economy of the Holy See, headed by Cardinal George Pell, to improve the running of all the Holy See’s finances.