One of our employees has been called to attend jury duty. The employee wants to attend jury duty, but the timing of it does not suit the business due to rostering and other approved leave within the team. Can we request for the employee to defer jury duty to a more convenient time?
By law, you must release employees when they are summoned for jury service. However, if it would be very difficult to have your employee away, the employee can ask for their jury service to be deferred to a later date. This must be done in advance, either by statutory declaration or in person.
If a deferral is granted, the employee will be expected to attend when they are next summoned. A second deferral will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Generally, employees cannot be excused from jury service for work reasons. An application for excuse may be granted if they are so essential to the operation of a business that the business would close if they had to be absent for jury service.
Note that there are significant penalties for employers who prevent employees from attending or penalise them for attending jury service.