Community Services Leave

Community service leave is a benefit guaranteed by the National Employment Standards (NES) for all employees within the national system. This entitlement allows employees the opportunity to take time off work to participate in designated community endeavours, including emergency services responsibilities.

Entitlement to Community Services Leave

The Fair Work Act states that an employee who engages in an eligible community service activity is entitled to be absent from his or her employment for a period if the period consists of one or more of the following:

  • Time when the employee engages in the activity;
  • Reasonable travelling time associated with the activity;
  • Reasonable rest time immediately following the activity; and
  • Unless the activity is jury service — the employee’s absence is reasonable in all the circumstances.

The categories of emergency services encompassed by community services leave are outlined in section 109 of the Fair Work Act and include fire-fighting, civil defence, or rescue organisations. 

Community services leave is typically unpaid, unless specified otherwise.

Jury Service

The Fair Work Act establishes the minimum entitlement for an employee’s jury service. This obligation solely pertains to full-time and part-time employees, excluding casual employees. Employers are obligated to compensate for the discrepancy between the employee’s jury service pay and their base rate of pay. 

However, this compensation is only mandated for the initial 10 days of absence. Additionally, any State or Territory law offering more advantageous jury service entitlements for employees must be followed. Furthermore, certain Modern Awards may include supplementary entitlements for employees on jury duty.

How HR Connect can help

If you require assistance with dealing with disciplinary issues concerning staff, HR Connect can help. Our HR Advisors will be able to guide you through each step of the disciplinary process and we have template documents (e.g. direction to attend a disciplinary meeting, written warning, letter of termination, etc) available as part of our subscription packages.

 

 

About HR Connect

HR Connect is one of Australia’s leading providers of HR & workplace safety advice services, designed to help small business owners make confident and compliant business decisions.

 

Disclaimer

The information provided in these knowledge base articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact HR Connect for advice. The information in this summary is correct as of August 2021.

 

This knowledge base article will change over time, as Modern Award legislation relating to this Industry or Occupation is passed by the Fair Work Commission. Originally published on 21 September 2021 and last updated on 18 February 2022.

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