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Do I Have To Release An Employee Who Has Been Summoned For Jury Service?

Published June 27, 2019 (last updated February 9, 2023) - ANZ Head of Legal Services
Employee summoned for jury service

Short answer: as an employer, yes.

You are obliged to release any employee summoned for jury service as stated in the National Employment Standards (NES).

It is an offence to act in any way prejudicial to an employee if they have received a summons for jury service and you threaten to or take action such as:

  • forcing them to take other types of leave (eg annual or sick leave) while doing jury service
  • asking them to work on any day that they are serving as a juror
  • asking them to do additional hours or work to make up for time that they missed
  • terminating the employee’s employment
  • ceasing or reducing pay
  • or otherwise acting to prejudice the employee in relation to their employment

Can I ask for evidence of jury duty?

Yes.  An employee should notify their employer of their summons for jury service as soon as possible. Jury service is the responsibility of the person summoned.

Where jury service will cause undue hardship or serious inconvenience, the employer and employee should discuss this and consider whether an application can be made to be excused from jury service.

How can I verify my employee attended jury service?

Each juror can request a certificate of attendance verifying the days they attended jury service. Employers can ask for this certificate from their employee if verification is required.

Do I have to pay my employee while they are on jury service?

When employees take leave for jury service, they receive jury service pay from the government.

By law, employers have to top up permanent employees’ remuneration their usual pay for the first 10 days of jury service. However, if a state or territory law provides for paid community service leave that is more generous than the NES, then the most generous amount applies. An employee’s modern award or enterprise agreement may also require additional top up pay.

Often referred to as ‘make-up pay’, it is the difference between any jury service payment the employee receives from the government and the employee’s base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked.

Before paying make-up pay, an employer may request evidence from the employee to show:

  • that they have taken all necessary steps to obtain jury service pay
  • the total amount of jury service pay that has been or will be paid to them

As Australia’s leading workplace relations specialist, Employsure can help you if you have any questions relating to jury service or employer obligations. Call us today on 1300 651 415 to speak with a specialist.

About Employsure.

Employsure is Australia’s largest workplace relations specialists. We take the complexity out of workplace laws to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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