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LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS – Jury Duty & Community Service Leave

Posted January 15, 2018



Jury duty. The statement strikes fear in the heart of salon owners and staff alike. The waiting around the courthouse for your name to be called, only to be sent home at 3 pm the same day. Paying staff for days that they aren’t on the salon floor, an absolute nightmare for business owners. But we cannot deny, Jury Duty is an important part of our service to the community, and staff are entitled to a few different kinds of community service leave, which salon owners absolutely must be aware of to ensure they comply with the law and protect their businesses.


All employees are entitled to community service leave, which includes activities such as a volunteer emergency management activity (such as being involved in SES during floods or storms) or Jury service that is required by the law of either the Commonwealth or individual states and territories.


For Jury Duty, all employees (other than casual staff) are entitled to be paid “make-up pay” for the first 10 days. Make-up pay is the difference between any jury service pay that the employee receives (excluding expenses) and the employee’s base rate of pay for the normal hours they would normally work. Again, this is only applicable for the first 10 days of Jury Duty, after this, the employee will only receive the standard Jury Duty pay.


If salon owners request evidence of the need to attend Jury Duty, the employee must provide you with the letter requiring them to attend Jury Duty.


The employee must also provide you with evidence that they took all necessary steps to obtain payments for Jury Duty owing to them by the court system. If the employee does not give their banking details to the sheriff, then salon owners are not required to pay them either.





Community Service Leave under the National Employment Scheme is unpaid for any voluntary emergency management activity, and must be done with a registered and recognised organisation, like the SES, RSPCA and the Royal Fire Service. An employee who takes Community Service Leave must give their employer a notice of absence as soon as possible and an estimation of the expected period of absence.


The Fair Work Act 2009 states that any State and Territory laws will continue to apply to employees in instances where they provide employees with better entitlements than the standard National Employment Scheme – for instance, in Queensland and Western Australia, employees are provided with an entitlement for emergency workers to continue to receive their ordinary pay from employers when they are undertaking emergency service work. If the state or territory laws benefit the employee, they are the ones to be acted on rather than the National Employment Scheme.


The laws around Community Service Leave vary from state to state, so please check the information for your relevant location for more information.


While it may seem unfair for salon owners to be asked to foot the bill for Community Service Leave or Jury Duty, the reality is that we all need to contribute to our communities and to abide by the laws of this country. The best way to do that is to be aware and to seek advice in instances where your staff are requesting either Community Service Leave or Jury Duty leave. As a member of HABA you can call our team of Industrial Relations experts who understand the letter of the law and will provide you with clear advice ensuring that you correctly follow the rules and protect your business from any legal ramifications. If you’re not a member of HABA, you face these complex rules and regulations alone. Become a member of HABA today and support the organisation that supports salon owners.

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