What Does Jury Duty Pay?
Australian citizens over 18 years of age have to undertake jury duty when requested to do so. Jury duty gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to see how the legal establishment works and it is an enjoyable activity for many people. However, there are others who dislike spending time in court. Some cases may continue for weeks and if you end up on them, you may find jury duty onerous.
Jury duty can cause a lot of inconveniences. Sometimes it requires you to take time off your work or send your kids to daycare.
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. But if the duty goes on for weeks, you could be in for a loss.
If you live in Victoria, Queensland, or WA; you will be paid your full salary for the duration of the duty, even if it continues for several weeks. But if you live in NSW or another state, things will not be as easy. People who serve on trials that last weeks in these Australian states often find themselves in serious financial difficulties.
How much does jury duty pay in NSW?
Jurors receive a specific allowance when they are on jury duty in NSW.
They receive $104.75/day for the first 10 days.
If you are employed, you will receive $235.65/day starting the 11th day of the service. Sometimes this can be higher than what you normally earn. Unemployed jurors remain on $104.75/day. In addition, there is a travel allowance of 30 cents/kilometre. So if you have to travel 10 kilometres to the courthouse, it will add up to 300 cents.
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. As a result, jurors can sometimes be 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. While it is true that jury duty pays less in other states, there are laws that require the employer to contribute the difference. In some states, casual employees are also eligible to receive a salary from their employers for performing jury duty.
Am I required to do jury duty if it will put me in financial difficulties?
If you are a self-employed person, jury duty can land you in severe financial difficulties. In such situations, you can request that you should be excused from doing jury duty. If your special circumstances prevent you from serving, it is possible to get excused. Generally speaking, pregnant women, parents of school-aged children, and those suffering from a medical condition are excused. People working in occupations that provide emergency services are also excused. The exact grounds on which a person can be excused vary between states.
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.