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JURIES ACT 1957 - SECT 56

56 .         Prejudicial actions against employees who do jury service

        (1)         In this section —

        employee includes a person employed under a contract for services;

        employer includes a person acting on behalf of an employer.

        (2)         For the purposes of this section, an employer acts prejudicially against an employee if the employer does any of the following —

            (a)         terminates the employee’s employment;

            (b)         ceases remunerating the employee;

            (c)         reduces the employee’s remuneration;

            (d)         otherwise acts so as to prejudice the employee in relation to his or her employment with the employer;

            (e)         threatens to take an action described in any of paragraphs (a) to (d).

        (3)         For the purposes of this section, an employer who employs an employee under a contract acts prejudicially against the employee because the employee has done or is doing jury service if the employer —

            (a)         does not pay the employee under the contract the earnings that the employee could reasonably expect to have been paid while doing the jury service, despite any breach of the contract caused by doing the jury service; or

            (b)         threatens to do so.

        (4)         For the purposes of this section, a person does jury service if he or she, having been required under this Act to do so, attends at any place in order to serve, or does serve, as a juror.

        (5)         An employer must not act prejudicially against an employee because the employee —

            (a)         is subject to a summons issued under PartVA or VB; or

            (b)         has done or is doing jury service.

        Penalty:

            (a)         for an individual, a fine of $10 000;

            (b)         for a body corporate, a fine of $50 000.

        (6)         If, in proceedings on a charge of an offence under subsection (5), all the facts constituting the offence other than the reason for the accused’s act are proved, the accused has the onus of proving the accused’s act was not actuated because the employee was subject to a summons issued under Part VA or VB or had done or was doing jury service.

        (7)         A court that convicts a person of an offence under subsection (5) —

            (a)         may order the person to pay the employee a sum, set by the court, by way of compensation for any prejudice (including lost remuneration) suffered by the employee; and

            (b)         if the offence involved the person terminating an employee’s employment, may also —

                  (i)         order the person to re-employ the employee, either in his or her old position or in a similar position; or

                  (ii)         if it is not practicable to make that order, order the person to pay the employee compensation for loss or injury caused by the termination;

                and

            (c)         if the person does not obey an order made under paragraph (b)(i), may order the person to pay the employee compensation for loss or injury caused by the termination.

        (8)         If under subsection (7) the court orders compensation to be paid, the amount must be set by the court but must not exceed the employee’s remuneration in the 12 months immediately before the date of the offence.

        (9)         An order made under subsection (7) may be enforced under the Civil Judgments Enforcement Act 2004 as if it were a judgment given in the exercise of the court’s civil jurisdiction.

        (10)         This section does not prevent proceedings against, or the punishment of, a person for contempt of court but, if a person’s act constitutes both an offence under this section and a contempt of court, the person cannot be punished for both.

        [Section 56 inserted by No. 13 of 2011 s. 42.]

        [Heading inserted by No. 12 of 2000 s. 10.]



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