Time Off for Jury Service – What Employers Need to Know

Last updated: June 23rd, 2023

First published: June 6th 2023
Last updated: June 23rd 2023

Employees being called for jury duty is an inevitable HR scenario that organisations have to manage occasionally.

Here we take a look at some common employer questions that arise around jury duty.

Who is eligible for jury duty?

In Ireland, every person aged 18 years or above and whose name appears on the Register of Dáil Electors is eligible for jury duty subject to the following exceptions:

  • Those involved in the administration of justice;
  • Those who are unable to read;
  • Those who have a long-term impairment as a result of which it is impracticable for them to serve on a Jury.

A person is disqualified from jury service if they have been convicted of a serious offence in Ireland, if they have served 5 years or more in prison, if they have served at least 3 months in prison in the preceding 10 years, or if they are living in Ireland, but not an Irish citizen.

Some staff may be (not in every case) excused from Jury Duty by the Registrar if they meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 65 years or over;
  • Those involved directly in Government;
  • Those who provide an important community service – such as practicing doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists;
  • School teachers or university lecturers;
  • Those who have served on a jury within the last 3 years;
  • Those who have been excused from jury duty by a Judge for a set period, where that period has yet to expire.

Is an employee obliged to serve on a jury?

If an employee is summonsed by a County Registrar, that employee is obliged to attend for jury duty on the date specified. It’s an offence punishable by a fine for a person to fail to attend for jury duty without a reasonable excuse.

Am I obliged to give employees time off work for jury duty?

Yes, you must comply with the summons and permit your employee to take time-off work to fulfil their jury duty (as per Section 29 of the Juries Act 1976).

Do I have to pay employees who are serving on a jury?

Employees completing jury service are entitled to be paid their usual wage by their employer for the duration of their jury service. Employees also maintain all their employment rights during any absence required to serve their jury duty.

Can I ask the employee to prove they have been called for jury duty?

To ensure the jury duty is genuine, you can ask your employee to provide you with a certificate of attendance, which the employee can request from the Jury Office.

Where an employee attends the Court but is not called for jury service, they should return to work. You can request that your employee provides a certificate of attendance for the jury selection process and this can be obtained from the Court Clerk.

Employee complaints

If you fail to facilitate an employee who has been called for jury duty under the Juries Act 1976, that employee can make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission.

Expert HR assistance with jury duty queries

Jury duty is just one area of HR that can trip up employers.

For help with any HR issue affecting your organisation, call a Graphite HR expert today on (0)1 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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