Employees who have been called up for jury service must attend and their job is protected while they attend jury service. Employers must allow an employee to attend jury service.
If an employee’s absence from work causes difficulty for an employer because of special commitments, an employer can give the employee a letter to support their application to be excused or have their service deferred.
An employer can’t dismiss their employee or threaten to dismiss them or otherwise threaten their position for attending jury service. In this situation, the employer could be convicted of an offence and receive a fine of up to $10,000, and the employee could also bring a personal grievance.
It is illegal to require an employee to use their annual leave to cover time off for jury duty.
Payment during jury service
People who attend jury service receive a small attendance fee from the Ministry of Justice.
Employers don’t have to pay employees while they do jury service, but many choose to ‘top up’ the money the employee gets from the Ministry of Justice so that they get their normal pay.
Employees should check their employment agreement and workplace policies or talk to their employer to see if they can get a ‘top-up’.
We recommend employers put a clause relating to jury service in employment agreements.