What is jury duty?
Jury duty (also known as jury service) is a type of community service leave. Any employee (casual, part-time or full time) can take leave to attend jury selection and jury duty.
Employees need to advise their employers of the period or expected period of leave as soon as possible. If they request leave, they need to provide evidence showing they attended jury selection or jury duty.
Full time and part-time employees must be paid make-up pay for the first 10 days of jury selection and jury duty. Make-up pay is the difference between any jury duty payment they receive (not including expense related allowances) from the court and their base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked.
Before paying makeup pay, employers can request evidence to show that:
- the employee has taken all steps to obtain jury duty pay
- the total amount of jury duty pay has been paid or will be payable to them for the period.
If the employee can’t provide evidence, they won’t be entitled to makeup pay.
Casual employees don’t get paid for jury duty under the National Employment Standards but might be entitled to payment under state or territory laws.
Summary of jury duty laws by state and territory
If you are selected as a juror, you will receive an allowance. This is not meant to be equal to your regular wage or salary payment.
The amount you are paid depends on the length of the trial and whether you are employed or not. People who are not employed include carers, stay at home parents, retirees and unemployed people.
The current daily rate for jury service allowance is:
- Trial Days 1-10 – All Jurors: $106.30 a day
- Trial Days 11 to trial end – Jurors who are employed: $247.40 a day
- Trial Days 11 to trial end – Jurors who are not employed: $106.30 a day
If you attend for half a day on the first day, no allowance is payable.
Public servants are paid by their agencies whilst they are completing jury duty and are not entitled to jury payment.
As a juror you are also paid a travel allowance, calculated on the distance from your postcode to the courthouse at 30.7 cents per kilometre.
Your juror payments are $40 per day for the first 6 days and $80 per day thereafter.
For full time, part-time and casuals with predictable hours, employers must pay the difference between the juror payments and what the employee would have been expected to earn, including any penalties, allowances or loading.
These payments must be made for the entirety of the employee’s jury service.
Jurors for Melbourne courts are not reimbursed for travel costs.
However, jurors summoned to a regional court who need to travel more than 8km to court are issued with a travel allowance. Mileage is paid for each kilometre over the first 8km and is only paid one way.
You are paid an allowance for going to court each day or part-day. You’re paid more if you’re empanelled juror on a trial.
You are also given a meal allowance where lunch isn’t provided and a travel allowance for your travel to the courthouse.
You may be entitled to the following allowances:
- Person summonsed for jury service but not a jury panel member (not empanelled)
- Allowance for attending court each day or part of a day: $43.75
- Juror or reserve juror
- Remuneration for each day or part-day that a person serves as a juror or reserve juror on a trial: $130.80
- Additional remuneration for each day or part-day that a person serves as a juror or reserve juror on a trial (after the 20th weekday): $43.75
- Daily allowance that a person serves as a juror or reserve juror on a trial that is adjourned for the full day or the person is not required to attend court (after the 20th weekday) *: $130.80
- Meal allowance if the jury is allowed to separate during lunch to obtain a meal: $15.35
- Meal allowance if the jury is allowed to separate for dinner to obtain a meal: $26.05
*See Jury Regulation 2007 for details about the schedule of fees.
If you catch public transport, you will be reimbursed for your fees. The reimbursement amount will be based on your primary place of residence to the closest public transport facility.
If public transport is not reasonably available or can’t be reasonably used, you can claim a private motor vehicle allowance.
Jurors (except state government employees) are paid $20 for each day of attendance, regardless of how long the attendance is each day.
A travel allowance of 79c per kilometre is paid and calculated from the juror’s residence to the court and return for each day’s attendance.
If a juror suffers a monetary loss or incurs expenditure as a direct result of jury service (i.e. lost wages, employing a person to cover their absence at work if self-employed or the cost of child care outside of usual arrangements) they can claim the actual amount to a maximum of $144 on top of the $20 payment for each day’s attendance.
Employers must continue to pay their employees their wages or salary whether the employee is full-time, part-time or casual.
Standard fees payable for jury attendance, according to the regulations are:
- Half a day $10,
- full-day $15 or
- $20 for every full day after the third day.
If the summoning officer is satisfied that a person doing jury service has lost more money from sitting on a jury than the official fee allows for, the summoning officer may pay the person a fee that equals that loss. The fee payable cannot exceed $1,000 per day unless the summoning officer is satisfied that the person’s lost income is greater $1,000 per day and not paying a fee equal to the loss would cause undue hardship to the person.
An employer may seek to be reimbursed for the fees payable to their employee who has completed jury duty, where the employer can demonstrate they have sustained a monetary loss greater than the fee.
A travelling allowance is given to all jurors, based on the public transport costs to and from the juror’s normal place of residence and the court.
In regional areas where there may be no public transport, a juror may claim for a reimbursement of kilometres travelled to the court.
Jurors who are employed are paid up to a maximum of $257.84 per day for jury service. They must supply evidence from their employer that they have lost salary whilst at court on jury duty.
Unemployed persons are paid $25.00 for each half-day they attend court; $40.00 for each of the first three full days they attend and $50.00 for each full day they attend thereafter.
If the jury retires to consider its verdict, the court will provide meals.
Jurors are reimbursed for travel costs that they incur while on jury duty.
Car parking fees are also paid on the production of receipts.
Jurors are paid at the following rate per kilometre travelled whilst on jury service:
- $0.5079 cents (engine capacity 2 litres and over); or
- $0.4368 cents (under 2-litre engine capacity).
The distance is calculated from your place of residence to the courthouse by the shortest practicable route.
If you travel by public transport, keep your bus tickets as they will be refunded.
The amount you will be paid for jury duty is set out in the current Juries (Payment) Determination.
For private-sector employees, other than casuals, your employer is required by the National Employment Standards to make up the difference between your jury payments and your normal basic pay for the first 10 days of jury service.
If you are receiving a government pension, you will need to declare the jury payment to Centrelink as it will be considered as ‘income’.
Public servants should receive their normal salary whilst on jury duty. Your payment for jury service will include:
- a travel and parking allowance for each day that you are required to attend Court; and
- a travel and parking allowance for each day that you are required to attend Court;
- payment for attending Court; and/or
- daily payment for each day of service for those who serve on a jury.
Source: ACT Courts
Persons summoned to attend for jury service should ascertain whether they will be paid by their employer and/or if they will be required to use leave entitlements by reason of attending for jury service.
Employees who continue to receive ordinary pay or who have no deduction from leave entitlements are ineligible for payment.
The payment for attending jury service is as follows:
- Attendance without selection – $20.20 per day,
- Attendance as a selected juror on a trial of 9 days duration or less – $60.60 per day
- Attendance as a selected juror on a trial of 10 days or more duration – $121.20 per day
If it is proved to the satisfaction of the Sheriff that as a result of attendance on a day, or part day, a juror has suffered financial loss, the juror is entitled to receive an additional amount for that attendance of up to:
- $30.30 per day if the person serves as a juror on a trial; or
- $20.20 per day in any other case
Source: NT Supreme court