Community service leave
Employees, including casual employees, can take community service leave for certain activities such as:
- voluntary emergency management activities
- jury duty (including attendance for jury selection).
With the exception of jury duty, community service leave is unpaid.
Voluntary emergency management activity
An employee engages in a voluntary emergency management activity if:
- the activity involves dealing with an emergency or natural disaster
- the employee engages in the activity on a voluntary basis
- the employee was either requested to engage in an activity, or it would be reasonable to expect that such a request would have been made if circumstances had permitted
- the employee is a member of, or has a member-like association with a recognised emergency management body.
Recognised emergency management body
A recognised emergency management body is:
- a body that has a role or function under a plan that is for coping with emergencies / natural disasters (prepared by the Commonwealth or a state or territory)
- a fire-fighting, civil defence or rescue body
- any other body which is mainly involved in responding to an emergency or natural disaster.
This includes bodies such as:
- the State Emergency Service (SES)
- Country Fire Authority (CFA)
- the RSPCA (in respect of animal rescue during emergencies or natural disasters).
How much leave is an employee entitled to?
An employee is entitled to take community service leave while they are engaged in the activity and for reasonable travel and rest time. There is no limit on the amount of community service leave an employee can take.
Are there notice and evidence requirements?
An employee who takes community service leave must give their employer:
- notice of the absence as soon as possible (this may be after the leave starts)
- the period or expected period of absence.
An employer may request an employee who has given notice, to provide evidence that they're entitled to community service leave.
Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) section 110
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Page reference No: 1966