Jury Duty: Reimbursement of wages and claims for payment

Jury duty is a legal responsibility shared between all members of the community. This means an employer, whether in Government or in the private sector, has a legal responsibility to continue to pay their employee their usual wage while the employee is attending jury duty.

The purpose of a lost income claim is to help repay employers and self-employed people who lose income (this is generally salary or wages) because one of their staff members (or themselves if they are self-employed) was doing jury duty. As part of the shared responsibility of jury service, it is important to consider the impact and the need to make a claim, especially for any short absences. If a person attends jury duty for a short period of time the financial impact on that person, their employer, or if self-employed, their business, may be minimal compared to being empanelled on a trial that runs for several days or weeks and so we would not expect you to make a claim for reimbursement. If you submit a claim there are strict guidelines that must be followed before we can approve it.

Many people will attend jury duty for less than a week, and some jurors may even be discharged after only a few hours. However please note that jury duty can also last for a number of weeks depending on trial circumstances.

Statutory fees

Jurors are entitled to be paid fees according to the Juries Regulations. If a juror is not claiming 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. The attendance fee is paid when the personal banking and employment details sections in the space provided on the jury duty summons is completed.

Legislation in summary

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The complete Juries Act 1957 can be located at the Western Australian Legislation website. A person who does jury duty is entitled to be paid fees as per the Juries Regulations. If the person is employed, then their employer is entitled to be paid the fees in line with the regulations unless they work for the State Government.

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.

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.

Employers must not reduce an employee’s salary or wage while they attend jury duty. Severe penalties apply if any adverse action is taken against an employee who is doing jury duty

Travelling allowance

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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. 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 the days the person attends court 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 further details if this type of claim is required.

What are the rules for claiming reimbursements?

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Claims for reimbursement must be supported by documented evidence and a detailed statutory declaration must be completed. Claims will only be paid up to the amount of a juror’s normal income, or part of that income on a per day basis. Claims for missing out on potential contracts will not be approved. Claim amounts are determined by a demonstrated 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 must be submitted within three 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 cannot be included.

Claims cannot be made by employers who are a State Government department or other State Government body.

The preferred method of submitting a claim is by email, with all attachments to the one email. Alternatively, claims may be posted or hand delivered. Claims may be subject to further assessment and may require additional documents before approval.

To assist us in processing your claim promptly, please ensure the claim is fully completed and submitted with the appropriate supporting documents.

What comprises a loss and how can this be demonstrated on a claim form?

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No self-employed person or employer should make a claim for reimbursement unless they are able to demonstrate a loss and show reasonable impact as a result of their absence while serving on a jury. This aspect varies according to different circumstances and is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

A claim must be accompanied by evidence of a loss. Do not focus on your capacity to earn an income as your only reason for making a claim as this may not be successful.

Demonstrating a loss does not include potential contracts or earnings lost through missed work opportunities.

An example of demonstrating a loss would be the need to employ a replacement person during your absence. If someone else is employed to do your work while you are on jury duty then this is a clear demonstration of a loss. In such circumstances the amount reimbursed would usually be limited to your normal wage or salary. 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.

How do I document evidence for a claim?

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All claims will need a comprehensive statutory declaration with all components of the claim form filled in. It is your responsibility to show how you calculated your loss of income by providing evidence that can be verified. Some examples of supporting evidence may include, but are not limited to, an income tax assessment notice, a signed statutory declaration from an authorised accountant, invoices of work linked to bank statements in your name or pay slips. 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.

Full or part time employment

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Employers must continue to pay employees 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 Fair Work Act 2009. Please contact the Manager of Jury Services if you have any questions relating to this matter.

An employer, other than a State Government agency, 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 while 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 their employer informed of the days relating to selection or attendance for jury duty.

Casual Employment

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Employers must continue to pay casual employees if the employee had a reasonable expectation of work during the period for which they attend jury duty.

Employers must not take action that will disadvantage an employee because they are on jury duty, such as terminating their employment, reducing shifts or reducing remuneration.

Fly In Fly out (FIFO)

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An employer must continue to pay a 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:

  • Days when the employee is not on jury duty, the cost of airfares or transport to and from the workplace.
  • Any days prior to the first day of attendance.
  • Travel to and from the employee’s normal work location.

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.

Self Employed

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A self-employed person may submit a claim for lost income if they can demonstrate they have suffered a financial loss as a result of 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. Demonstrating a loss must include detailed reasons as described above.

Business Operators

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Reimbursement for serving on a jury does not apply to a business loss. Reimbursement can only be made in respect 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 on the business.

If you allocate yourself an income or draw a wage from the business then this can be used to support your claim.

To make a claim, please download the relevant form below. Once you have filled in the form, please scan it on both sides, as well as the relevant evidence, and email to the court where you did your jury duty. The email address is on the top left of the relevant claim form. Alternatively, you can post the forms to the court.

Page reviewed 4 August 2020