The Juries Act 1976 places a civic duty on individuals to provide jury service when chosen to do so by random selection. The Act has a number of provisions aimed specifically at an employer’s obligations to employees who are requested to undertake jury service. We have set out these obligations through a series of FAQs
Does our business have to provide paid time off for employees who attend jury service?
Yes, the employer must allow the employee to take paid time off to attend jury service where required. This also includes when an employee is summonsed for jury service but may not actually be called on to serve on the jury panel.
Does this apply to temporary and agency workers?
Yes, if a temporary or agency worker has been called to jury service they must be given paid time off to attend.
Is this protected leave?
Yes, an employee’s employment is protected for the duration of their jury service. At the end of jury service leave, they are entitled to return to their original job under terms and conditions no less favourable than those which would have applied if they had not been absent.
This is our busiest time of year; can we request that the employee does not attend jury service?
The employer is prohibited from stopping an employee from fulfilling their civic duty to attend jury service, however, an employer can ask the employee, if they agree, to make an application to be excused which outlines the reason why they are unable to attend. It is important to note that the decision to grant the application is at the discretion of the County Registrar. If the application is refused the employee must be allowed to attend jury service.
How can application to be excused be made?
Employees should state their reasons as fully as possible on the J2 form that is attached to the original summons, explaining why they should be excused and send it to the County Registrar. The application should include any certificates or documents in support of their application.
An employee has been called to give evidence for a civil / criminal case, are they entitled to paid time off?
No, jury service should not be confused with a situation where an employee has been requested or subpoenaed to provide evidence in civil law or criminal proceedings. In such a case, there is no entitlement to paid time off work. However, the organisation may, at its discretion, decide to allow the employee to avail of either annual leave or unpaid leave.
Is the employee entitled to annual leave and public holiday entitlements?
Yes, employees continue to accrue annual leave and are entitled to their full public holidays.
How much notice should an employee give when called to jury service?
An employee should provide written notification to you that they need to avail of jury service leave. This should be received as soon as possible after they have received the jury service summons. You can request that the written notice includes evidence of the times and dates that they are required to attend court.
In the instance that an employee is required to attend part of a working day for jury service leave, can I request they return to work?
Yes, an employee must return to work immediately after they have been released from court. For each day they attend jury service, they should provide you with a certificate of attendance from the County Registrar evidencing the dates and times of their jury service.
If you would like more information on jury leave and employer obligations, please contact Helen at SFA on 01 605 1668 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our HR and Employment Law advice section on www.sfa.ie/advice