The Juries Act 2000 (Vic) outlines your entitlements while attending jury service, as well as your obligations to your employer and their obligations to you.

Your obligations to your employer

It is expected you fulfil these obligations to your employer.

 

Sufficient notice

Summons

You must advise your employer as soon as possible of your summons date. This provides your employer with as much time as possible to make sufficient arrangements to cover your absence.

It should be noted your summons outlines the possibility your summons date may need to be changed. In this instance, you should let your employer know of the new date as soon as possible.

Selection as a juror

If selected as a juror on a trial, you should inform your employer as soon as possible, usually at the first break in the trial proceedings, of the estimated length of your service.

 

Certificate of Attendance

Upon the conclusion of your jury service, you must provide your employer with a Certificate of Attendance and payment remittance advice. These detail your dates of attendance, the duration of your jury service, and an itemised list of payments made to you by Juries Victoria.

Your employer's obligations to you

The Juries Act 2000 (Vic) outlines a number of obligations your employer has to you regarding jury service. These obligations supersede the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and all enterprise bargaining agreements and employment contracts, meaning the provisions of the Juries Act 2000 (Vic) must be adhered to.

If your employer fails to adhere to their obligations to you, substantial penalties may apply.

 

Attendance

Your employer must release you for jury service. Preventing you from attending may result in substantial penalties.

With the exception of a very small number of specific circumstances, work is not considered a valid reason to be excused. Your employer is prohibited from demanding, pressuring, or coercing you to request to be excused or deferred.

However, you can have a discussion with your employer regarding operational concerns, such as peak trading periods or other key staff being on leave. While the decision to apply to be deferred is entirely yours, you may wish to take these considerations into account.

 

Casual workers

If you are employed on a casual contract, but you work consistent and regular hours, you are not considered a 'casual employee' with respect to jury service. As such, you are guaranteed all the same protections and entitlements as listed on this page.

If you are employed on a casual contract, and your hours vary considerably, your employer may not be obligated to pay you while you are attending jury service. Please call our office to discuss your circumstances with us further.

 

Leave

Your jury service must not be deducted from your annual leave, sick leave, or any other form of leave entitlements.

 

Pay

Your employer is legally obligated to pay you the difference between your juror payments ($40 per day for the first 6 days, $80 per day thereafter) and what you would reasonably have expected to have earned had you attended work instead of jury service. This includes any penalties, allowances, or loadings you would normally receive.

This obligation exists for the entire duration of your jury service, regardless of its length, and applies no matter the size of the business you work for.

 

Roster

Except where required to cover your confirmed attendance dates, your employer must not alter your usual roster as a result of jury service.

 

Termination or other penalties

Your employer is prohibited from terminating or threatening to terminate your employment, or otherwise prejudicing your employment because you are, were, or will be absent from employment on jury service.

 

Shift Workers

In many circumstances, you will not be able to work during jury service. Being a juror is considered a full-time job, Monday to Friday. However, there may be some instances or circumstances whereby you could reasonably go to work during a trial, say if the court finishes early or does not sit on a particular day. Occasional, one-off work on a weekend might also be appropriate in some circumstances.

The underpinning principle to be considered is your health and well-being. Employers and the Juries Commissioner alike are obliged to protect your health and safety, which includes monitoring maximum work hours, minimum break requirements and days worked consecutively. Jury service is considered work when assessing these obligations.

Evening shifts

Even though evening shifts may be outside standard court hours, you are not required to attend evening shifts on any day you have undertaken jury service.

However, you must still be paid the difference between your jury payment and what you would have earned had you worked. This includes penalties, allowances, and loadings.

Night shifts

You are not required to work any part of a night shift which occurs on the same day as your jury service. This includes working past midnight the night before, as well as beginning a night shift the evening of your jury service.

However, you must still be paid the difference between your jury payment and what you would have earned had you worked. This includes penalties, allowances, and loadings.

Weekend shifts

Where you are selected as a juror on a trial, and the trial bridges a weekend (i.e. sits on both the Friday before and Monday after a weekend), you are not required to work your weekend shifts.

However, you must still be paid the difference between your jury payment and what you would have earned had you worked. This includes penalties, allowances, and loadings.

Summonsed for your day off

If you are a shift worker, and you have been summonsed to attend court for jury service on your day off, you must still attend for jury service. You will still be paid $40 by Juries Victoria for attending, however your employer is not required to pay you the difference between this amount and what you would reasonably have expected to have earned, as you would not expect to receive any earnings on a day you do not work.

If attending jury service on your day off will result in you working an unreasonable number of consecutive days, you can contact our office to discuss your options.

 

Self-Employed

If you are self-employed or an independent contractor, you can request to be excused from jury service.

Eligibility Form

Select the relevant option in section 7 of the form (paper or online version) and provide us with your ABN and trading name.

Summons

Complete a statutory declaration stating you wish to be excused due to being self-employed, providing your ABN and trading name. This will need to be witnessed by an authorised individual.

You can find more information on authorised witnesses and download a statutory declaration form here.