|Community service leave|
Community service leave is unpaid leave and is provided for in the NES. Each of the following is an eligible community service activity and provides an entitlement to community service leave:
Except for non-casual employees engaged in jury service, community service leave is unpaid. The payment for leave for jury service is made at the employee’s base rate of pay for ordinary hours of work in the period, capped at 10 days. Any days served on a jury after the 10 days may be leave without pay or paid from annual leave accrual upon application by the employee. The employer may make payment conditional upon the employee taking all necessary steps to obtain jury service pay from the relevant authorities and to provide the employer with evidence of this fact. The employer is entitled to reduce the pay made to the employee for jury service leave by the amount of jury service pay received from the authorities.
Voluntary emergency management activity is a voluntary activity that involves dealing with an emergency or natural disaster. The employee must be a member of a recognised emergency management body such as, for example, a fire fighting, civil defence or rescue body. The emergency management body must request the employee to engage in the activity or, if circumstances do not permit the making of such request, it must be reasonable to expect the employee’s absence in those circumstances and that a request would have been likely. Though the activity is voluntary the employee is not precluded from taking community service leave because they may receive an honorarium or gratuity.
The employee must notify the employer of the expected period of absence as soon as practicable and the employer may require the employee to provide reasonable evidence that the absence from work is because the employee is engaging in an eligible community service activity.
The NES does not operate to the exclusion of State and Territory legislation that might have otherwise applied. For example the FW Act would not apply to the exclusion of a State or Territory law where it provided for a casual employee to receive payment for jury service. For specific detail on jury service you should contact your relevant Justice Department in each State or Territory.