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If you have been selected for jury duty, you should understand your important obligations to attend jury selection and jury duty. If you are an employer, there are a number of duties you must adhere to if your employee has been selected for jury duty.

What is jury duty?

Jury duty or jury service is a form of community service leave which an employee can take to attend jury selection or sit on a jury. An employee is eligible to take this leave when they are employed on a full-time basis or a casual basis for the last twelve months.

What obligations does an employee have to their employer?

An employee has a number of obligations after being called for jury duty which includes but are not limited to:

  • Advising their employer when they receive a jury summons as soon as possible;
  • Advising their employer of the period they will be required to attend court;
  • Providing evidence that they have taken the necessary steps to obtain any amount of jury duty pay which is owed to them;
  • Providing evidence of the amount of jury duty pay which has already been paid or is payable to them; and
  • Carrying out work during normal working hours on any day if the employee is not required to attend court on that day.

What obligations does an employer have to their employee?

An employer also has many obligations after their employee has been called for jury duty. These obligations should be fully explained in the Employee Handbook but generally include but are not limited to:

  • Paying the full-time employee at the base rate of pay for their ordinary hours of work in the period (for up to ten days); or
  • Paying the difference between this amount and the amount of which the employee has or will be paid for their jury duty.

For example: James received a jury summons to attend jury selection and he was then chosen for the jury. The jury duty went for five days and he provided his employer with evidence that he had been paid $50 a day by the court. James normally makes $120 per day which means his employer needs to pay the difference of $70 per day for the five days.
The law says that this obligation does not extend to casual employees.

An employer also must not:

  • Require an employee to use any other leave, other than jury duty leave, to do jury duty;
  • Dismiss their employee for doing jury duty;
  • Ask employees to work on a day they are serving as jurors; or
  • Ask employees to work additional hours or make up for the time they missed as a result of jury duty.
  • An employer is under no obligation to do so but an employee may ask for supporting documentation to apply to be excused from jury service. This can be in the form of a letter to be given to the court outlining how the absence of the employee will be detrimental to your business.

We have many experienced Employment Lawyers at LegalVision, who can help both employers and employees. Feel free to contact us on 1300 544 755!

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