When an employee is called for jury service, it can be a challenging time for both the employee and employer. It is essential for employers to be aware of their obligations and responsibilities to support their employees and avoid any potential legal consequences.
In this blog post, we will discuss a few practical tips and recommendations that will help employers manage their employees who have been summoned for jury service effectively.
Know Your Legal Obligations
Employers must comply with the law and grant their employees leave for jury service upon request. The leave period can last for several weeks or even months, and it is illegal to discriminate against employees who have been summoned for jury duty.
You cannot penalise an employee for serving as a juror, nor can you prevent them from taking leave when requested. It’s essential to keep in mind that the right to serve on a jury is an important civic duty, and employers must respect this.
Communication is Key
It’s essential to maintain open and transparent communication with employees who have been called for jury service. Once an employee has informed you of their notice, ensure that you get all the necessary details, such as the dates of service, the location, the duration, and the name of the court.
This information will help you to plan more effectively for their absence and find ways to cover their responsibilities during their absence. Keeping in touch with the employee during their service is also crucial to ensure things are going well and support them throughout the process.
Make sure you have a clear idea of the impact that jury service will have on your business operations. Plan the workload of the affected employee and their colleagues to ensure that essential tasks are taken care of.
Consider redistributing responsibilities and delegating tasks to other employees if needed. Be sure to create a contingency plan and identify potential issues that may arise during their absence, like meeting deadlines or missing important appointments.
Compensation and Benefits
Employers are not required to pay their employees during jury service. However, many companies have provisions in their policy to compensate employees for the difference between their jury service pay and their regular salary. This provision provides an added benefit and support to employees. You should also remind your employees to claim their expenses incurred during jury service, such as travel, childcare, and meal costs.
Welcome Them Back
Finally, make sure you welcome back the employee who has served their jury service once they return to work. It’s essential to re-integrate them back into the office environment and bring their progress up-to-date on any developments while they were absent. Let them know how much you appreciate their civic duty and the time and effort they put in during their service. By doing so, you are fostering a positive work culture that demonstrates your commitment as an employer.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to support your employees in times of need, such as when they are called for jury service. You can help to navigate the situation effectively by knowing your legal obligations, communicating regularly, planning ahead, providing compensation and benefits, and welcoming them back upon completion of their jury service. Remember, a positive workplace culture not only benefits employees but also contributes to the success of your business.
If you have an employee that has been called for jury service or any questions regarding this – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email us at email@example.com.