Community service leave

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Some of your employees may need time off for jury service, firefighting, or to help with some other emergency or natural disaster. This is when you give them community service leave. Eligible types of community service are:

  • Jury service
  • Voluntary emergency management conducted by a state or territory
  • Firefighting, civil defence or rescue body for emergencies or natural disasters, such as the State Emergency Service, Country Fire Association or RSPCA

The period of community service leave includes travel to the activity, time spent doing it, and time for reasonable rest and recovery afterwards. Community service leave does not accrue because it depends on events only.

There is no limit on how much community service leave someone takes, as long as it is eligible and reasonable. All your employees, including casuals, are entitled to unpaid community service leave.

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Jury service

Jury service is the only form of community service leave that is paid. When employees take leave for jury service, they receive jury service pay from the government and employers top this up to their usual pay for up to 10 days. Topping up is for permanent employees only and works like this as an example:

  • Your permanent employee earns a usual weekly base rate of $700
  • The government pays $250 per week for jury service
  • You top up their pay by $450

You do not have to pay community service leave for employees who are still doing jury service after 10 days.

You can ask your employee for evidence showing they have taken all steps to get the full amount of jury service pay and evidence of how much pay they received in the first two weeks. If a state law provides for paid community service leave that is more generous than the National Employment Standards, then the generous amount applies. Please see our Jury Service guide for more information.

Employsure advisers are experts in helping you manage community service leave effectively. For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.

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