What Does Jury Duty Pay?
We are undeniably lucky to live in a society where we have a robust justice system. Jury trials are a crucial part of this system as such, any Australian citizen over the age of 18 can be called upon to serve on a jury. Serving on a jury is the one way we serve our society and our other citizens.
It is unquestionably important to the proper functioning of our judicial system that defendants are offered to the opportunity to be judged by a jury of their peers yet, in spite of its importance jury duty often gets a bad rap.
Jury duty gives ordinary people the opportunity to see their legal system up close and for inquisitive people and fans of Law and Order alike it could be a genuinely enjoyable experience.
That being said there are some clear inconveniences. Trials can run on for weeks, you will likely be required to take time off work and make childcare arrangements for your kids.
So, will you get paid for sitting on a jury?
You are paid for serving on the jury; however, the pay that you receive may be higher than or lower than what your job gives you. If you are a permanent employee, your employer is required to contribute the difference for up to 10 days. Though if your trial extends longer then 10 days then you could experience a loss.
The regulations are different across different states. If you live in Victoria, Queensland, or Western Australia; you will be paid your full salary for the duration of the duty, even if it continues for several weeks.
The situation in New South Wales is slightly different where jurors receive a specific allowance.
They receive $104.75/day for the first 10 days and then, if you are employed, you will receive $235.65/day starting the 11th day of the service while unemployed jurors remain on $104.75/day. In addition, there is a travel allowance of 30 cents/kilometre.
How does the jury duty pay in NSW compare to that in other states?
Jury duty pay in NSW is significantly higher than that in other states, however, in NSW, employers are not required to cough up the difference which can mean jurors sometimes end up at a disadvantage.
In South Australia, jurors who cannot demonstrate lost wages receive just $20/day. The situation is better in Queensland where jurors can receive up to $150.75/day for cases which exceed 20 days. In some states, jurors also receive a meal allowance.
Am I required to participate in jury duty if it will put me in financial difficulties?
If you are self-employed, jury duty can land you in severe financial difficulties. If you have reason to believe that serving on a jury would place you in severe financial stress you can request to be excused from jury duty.
If there are special circumstances that prevent you from serving, you may also ask to be excused. Generally speaking, pregnant women, parents of school-aged children, and those suffering from a medical condition are often excused. People working in occupations that provide emergency services are also likely to be excused.
Other possible reasons include a mental condition or another disability or a prior conflict of interest. It is also possible to be excused if you are not present in your state at the time the request was made.
If you’re unsure about your obligation to jury duty or are involved in a case that you require help with, call us today, the most trusted criminal lawyers in Sydney.