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What kind of leave is granted an employee who has been summoned to appear in court in Aust?

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Usually, employees are not entitled to be paid to attend court – there is however, an entitlement to paid jury service leave. The employee should be directed to make a request to take annual leave. An employee is entitled to make a request to take annual leave and an employer should not unreasonably withhold its consent to such a request. Given that the employee is required to attend court, it is likely that any refusal to grant annual leave would be considered by a court to be unreasonable.

If the employee does not wish to take annual leave but wishes to be granted leave or does not have sufficient accrued annual leave, then the employee could be granted unpaid leave. Remember, leave to attend court is not personal leave.

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2 thoughts on “What kind of leave is granted an employee who has been summoned to appear in court in Aust?

  1. Absolute rubbish!!
    If I was called for Jury Duty I would NOT use my Annual Leave.
    As an employer, I can decline to approve your request for Annual Leave and sack you if you don’t turn up for work (attending the Court instead).

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    • HI Jury
      Thank you for your comments, the post is a suggestion, not intended to be taken as law. Yes it is NOT obligatory to take annual leave, the employee has a choice. The source of the recommendation is http://www.employmentlawhandbook.com.au/ (no affiliation or endorsement given). In fact when they say “not entitled to be paid to attend court” that is not true, (see further on). It also may be best to think about the consequences if you want to “sack (an employee) if you don’t turn up for work (attending the Court instead)”, as it is an obligation to allow them to attend, or the employer can face fines and imprisonment, (see below)
      From the Vic Aust Courts website –
      “It is also a serious offence for an employer to prevent an employee from attending as required by a jury summons or to dismiss or penalise them in any way because of jury service. Section 76 of the Juries Act 2000, currently provides for fines of up to $60,000 for a breach of the Act by a body corporate, and up to $12,000 fine or 12 months imprisonment for individuals who breach the Act.” http://www.courts.vic.gov.au/jury-service/employer-faqs/what-are-penalties-if-i-prevent-my-employee-attending
      “The Juries Act 2000 requires you to pay employees the difference between the amount they receive for jury service and the amount they would reasonably expect to have received if they had not been on jury service. This requirement applies to permanent, part‐time and, casual employees but does not apply to independent contractors. In Victoria, an employer’s obligation to make up an employee’s pay while on jury duty is not limited to 10 days…” http://www.courts.vic.gov.au/jury-service/employer-faqs/what-are-my-obligations-making-payment
      What do other employers experience/think?

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