Jury duty is a legal responsibility shared between all members of the community. The purpose of any reimbursement is to assist those who are suffering a loss as a result of attending jury duty. An employer is required by law to continue to pay their employee their usual wage while attending jury duty.
More than 72% of people will attend jury duty for less than a week and some jurors may be discharged after only a day. Jury duty can also last for many weeks depending on trial circumstances.
Reimbursement is designed to assist people who attend jury duty, especially those jurors who attend long trials, where their capacity to earn a living may be reduced or even halted. If a person attends jury duty for a day or two the impact on that person and their business may be minimal and it is not expected they would make a claim for reimbursement. If a claim is submitted there are strict guidelines that must be followed before a claim can be approved.
A travelling allowance is provided to all jurors, based on the public transport costs to and from the juror’s normal place of residence and the court. The travelling allowance does not include travel costs from a juror’s work location. A claim for travel reimbursement is paid for jury duty on attendance, when the personal banking details section in the space provided on the summons is completed.
In regional areas where there may be no public transport a juror may claim for a reimbursement of kilometres travelled to the court. Speak to the court officer for more details if this type of claim is required.
Jurors are entitled to be paid fees according to the regulations. If a juror is not claiming a reimbursement for lost income then an attendance fee can be paid. If not in receipt of any income on any given day then a juror will be paid an attendance fee. An attendance fee is paid when the personal banking and the employment details sections in the space provided on the summons is completed.
The complete Juries Act 1957 can be located at the State Law Publisher website. A person who does jury duty or attends in order to serve jury duty is entitled to be paid fees as per the regulations. The employer of a person attending jury duty is entitled to the fees unless the employer is a State Government employer. Self-employed jurors may submit a claim for lost income if they can demonstrate a loss.
Standard fees payable for jury attendance in accordance with the regulations are:
Half a day $10, Full day $15 or $20 for every full day after the 3rd day.
If the summoning officer is satisfied that a person doing jury service has by reason of so serving lost income in an amount greater than the prescribed fee the summoning officer may pay the person a fee that equals that loss. An employer may seek to be reimbursed the fees payable to their employee who has completed jury duty and can demonstrate a loss greater than the fee.
Employers must not reduce an employee’s salary or wage whilst they attend jury duty. Severe penalties apply if any adverse action is taken against an employee.
All claims must be valid, fair and reasonable. Before any claim can be processed, evidence of a loss of income must be demonstrated.
Before making a claim it is important to consider the impact and the need to make a claim for short absences. The claim must be supported by relevant documented, verifiable evidence and a detailed statutory declaration must be completed. Claims will only be paid up to the amount of a normal income, or part thereof per day. Amounts do not include potential contracts or earnings lost through missed work. Claim amounts are determined by a verified loss, rather than by the capacity to earn. A claim will only be considered for the loss associated with the actual time of attendance.
Claims should be submitted within six months after the completion of jury service. Claims do not extend to allowances, employers payroll tax or other ancillary benefits. When a claim is submitted these factors must be removed.
Claims cannot be made by employers who are a government department, state instrumentality or state trading concern.
The preferred method of submitting a claim is by email with all attachments. Alternatively, claims may be posted or hand delivered. Claims may be subject to further assessment and may require additional documents before approval.
Incomplete forms or claims without the appropriate supporting documents will be returned unpaid.
No person or employer should make a claim for reimbursement unless they are able to demonstrate a loss. The intent of the legislation is to ensure that jurors can meet their day to day financial obligations. A loss will become more evident the longer a person is away from work.
Before making a claim a person or employer must ask what impact has it really had on me or my business? A claim must be accompanied by evidence of a loss. This is not merely a loss of productivity or time but other costs associated with the loss. A loss of productivity should not be the foundation or primary reason for making a claim. Claimants should consider how they cope with leave or training, sickness or absences from work for other reasons. As jury duty is a legal responsibility shared by all members of the community it may be that losing some time to jury duty is inevitable. For many people and organisations work can be postponed or deferred.
Demonstrating a loss does not include potential contracts or earnings lost through missed work. The reason is you cannot be in two places at once. If you work in an industry that is reliant on securing contracts then you must make provision for this during your absence just like you would if on leave or attending training etc.
Some examples of demonstrating a loss would be the need to replace another person during your absence. If someone else is employed to do your work whilst you are on jury duty then this is a clear demonstration of a loss. However, while the cost of replacing a person is not reimbursed the cost of the employee’s salary may be reimbursed. Another example would be that because you attended jury service the doors to your business needed to be closed. This is also evidence that would support a claim for reimbursement.
All claims will need a comprehensive statutory declaration with all components of the claim form completed. It is your responsibility to show how you calculated your loss by providing verifiable evidence that can be cross checked. Some examples of supporting evidence may include income tax assessment notice, a signed statutory declaration from an authorised accountant, invoices of work linked to bank statements in your name, pay slips and advice or statutory declarations from clients. This evidence needs to correlate to your claim supporting the impact that you demonstrate.
All claims will be subject to assessment and may require further supporting documents before approval.
Employers must continue to pay employees (juror) who are summoned for jury duty. Failure to do so is a breach of the Juries Act 1957 and severe penalties can be applied to employers.
The Western Australian juries system is unique in comparison to other states of Australia. As a result the Juries Act 1957 prevails over some parts of the Australian Fairwork Act 2009. Please contact the Manager Jury Services if you have any questions relating to this matter.
An employer, other than a State Government, may submit a claim for lost income if they can demonstrate they have suffered a loss as a result of an employee doing jury duty. This would be detailed in the statutory declaration on the claim form. The explanation of a loss must be accompanied by any documentary evidence available.
Employers who submit a claim for their employee must also provide two payslips for their employee. The first must be for a period prior to jury duty and the other must be for the period whilst on jury duty.
The claim must exclude allowances (such as site, shift, mobile phones, uniform, vehicle etc.) and other ancillary benefits such as bonuses and reward benefits. Claims must also exclude payroll tax.
It is the employer’s responsibility to provide their own calculation for the claim, to demonstrate the loss and provide the relevant supporting documentation.
It is the responsibility of the employee to keep the employer informed of the days relating to selection or attendance for jury duty.
Employers must continue to pay casual employees if the employee had an expectation of work.
Employers must not take action that will disadvantage an employee because they are on jury duty such as terminating employment, reducing shifts or reducing remuneration.
An employer must continue to pay an FIFO employee attending jury duty, as per the legislation, and can make a claim for lost income if they can demonstrate an actual loss.
Reimbursement will not be paid for:
Reimbursement will be considered where a break in the selection process occurs if the employer is able to explain why their employee was unable to return to work or be engaged in any work during that time.
Jury duty is an important legal responsibility and every step you take to reducing the impact on your business is a positive one. Many small businesses need to consider their succession plans and how work can carry on whilst on jury duty.
A self-employed person may submit a claim for lost income if they can demonstrate they have suffered a loss as a result of doing jury duty and not able to postpone or defer the work. This would be detailed in the statutory declaration on the claim form. The explanation of a loss must be accompanied by any documentary evidence available.
Demonstrating a loss must include very detailed reasons why you have experienced loss. Any work postponed or deferred is not considered a loss so evidence must include how an actual loss is sustained. All jurors have the ability to defer jury duty and this should be employed as an important tool to managing the best time to do jury duty.
Do not focus on your capacity to earn an income as your only reason for making a claim as this may not be successful. Examples where a claim is substantiated is a person who needs to shut the doors of their business to attend jury duty or required to employ a backup person for the duration.
Reimbursement is only considered for the actual time you attend for jury duty if a loss is substantiated. There is no reimbursement for a loss associated with cancellation of future work.
Reimbursement does not apply to a business loss. Reimbursement can only be made to a person who attended jury duty so evidence of a business income or loss is not relevant. You must provide evidence of your personal income excluding the impact of the business.
If you allocate yourself an income or draw a wage from the business then this can be used to support your claim and loss.
To make a claim please download the relevant form from the link below, then complete all fields of information. Once the claim form is complete please scan the form (both sides) and the relevant evidence and email to the court where jury duty was completed. The email address is found on the top left of the relevant claim form. Alternatively you can post the forms to the court directly.
Last updated: 16-Mar-2017
[ back to top ]