My employee has been called for jury duty. What do I do?

Tuesday March 22, 2022

It doesn’t happen very often, but when an employee is called up for jury duty, you’ll need to know what to do.

Do I have to grant my employee jury-duty leave?

Yes! Under Australia’s National Employment Standards, employees are entitled to take leave for jury service, or jury service selection, where required by a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.

Jury duty is a type of community-service leave. All employees, including casual employees, can take leave to attend jury selection and jury duty.

This leave time includes:

  • The period of jury duty
  • Reasonable travelling time
  • Rest time immediately following jury duty

How much notice should my employee provide?

Ideally, your employee should let you know of their jury-duty commitments as soon as possible. As an employer, you can request evidence to prove they’ve been called up to jury duty.

Do I need to pay my employee while they’re on jury duty?

According to Fairwork, full-time and part-time employees have to be paid ‘make-up pay’ for the first 10 days of jury selection and jury duty.

It’s important your employee provides evidence that shows the total amount of jury-duty pay that has been paid or will be payable to the employee for the period. If they can’t provide evidence, they won’t be entitled to make-up pay.

How much is make-up pay?

Make-up pay is the difference between any jury-duty payment the employee receives from the court and the employee’s base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked.

For instance, let’s say your employee goes on jury-duty leave for five days. Your employee provides evidence that shows he’s been paid $50 a day by the court. Your employee normally earns $180 per day, which means you need to pay the difference of $130 per day for the five days.
The law says that make-up pay does not extend to casual employees.

What else should I keep in mind?

  • You can’t ask your employee to use any other leave, such as sick leave, to do jury duty
  • You can’t dismiss an employee for doing jury duty
  • Don’t expect employees to work on days they’re doing jury duty
  • Don’t expect employees to work extra hours to make up for the time they lost on jury duty
  • You can provide your employee with documentation to apply to be excused from jury duty. This can be in the form of a letter outlining how the absence of the employee will be detrimental to your business.

Where can I get extra assistance?

Please get in touch with the HR Dept for any additional advice or information. We’re here to help.

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