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Community Service Leave – Paid or Not Paid? Hair and Beauty Industry

Posted August 29, 2016

Hair and beauty employees including casual employees, are entitled to be absent from work for the purpose of performing certain community service. Community service leave is an entitlement under the National Employment Standards (NES) which allows employees to carry out a number of community service activities. There are two main aspects of community service leave; Voluntary Emergency Management activities and Jury Service.

As a Salon Owner, do I pay my employees for Community Service?

  • Voluntary Emergency Management Activities

For the hair and beauty industry, there is not set limit on the amount of community service leave an employee is entitled to. Voluntary emergency management activity is a voluntary activity that involves dealing with an emergency or natural disaster, e.g. fire-fighting, an auxiliary operation or an activity that is of community service nature prescribed by regulations. The employee must be a member of a recognised emergency management body (or have a ‘member-like’ association with the body). The body must request the employee to engage in the activity.

In order to undertake this form of leave, notice must be given as soon as practicable and the employee must let the salon owner (employer) know how long they expect to be on leave. The employer may request reasonable evidence from the employee if they wish to undertake this leave. This leave is not paid for by the employer.

  • Jury Duty

Jury duty is the only form of paid community service leave for full time and part time employees in all industries including the hair and beauty industry. An employee (other than a casual) is entitled to ‘make-up pay’ for the first 10 days that the employee is absent from work due to Jury service (including attendance for jury selection).

Make up pay is the difference between any jury service payment the employee receives, and the employee’s base rate of pay for the hours they would have worked on the day. Base rate of pay excludes incentive- based payments and bonuses, loading’s, monetary allowances and overtime or penalty rates.

The employer is able to request for reasonable evidence to be provided to determine the exact amount received through jury duty and to calculate the make-up pay. It is also important for employers to check the relevant State or Territory law for any provisions which may be more beneficial than the National Employment Standards (NES). Should more beneficial laws be relevant, those laws will apply.

Need clarification on Community Service Leave and how it impacts an employer of the hair and beauty industry, call Hair & Beauty Australia on 02 9221 9911.

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