Since 2018, one of the many benefits available to members of the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW is assistance with helping staff be excused from jury service.
In accordance with the Jury Act 1977 (NSW), prospective jurors are selected at random from the current electoral roll. Once on a jury roll, jurors may receive more than one summons during the 12-month life of that jury roll. Jurors who attend in compliance with a jury summons and make themselves available for jury service are then excused for 12 months if not empanelled, or 36 months if empanelled. Jurors who are granted short term excusal from jury service are not removed from the jury roll and may still be randomly selected and summoned again before the expiry of that jury roll. The pool of available jurors on the jury roll progressively decreases over the 12-month life of the roll and the frequency of summons to jurors who have not made themselves available for jury service may increase.
This effectively confirms what a number of member service providers have been experiencing with their staff who have been called for jury duty.
Citing either the staff's preference not to serve and/or the service provider's challenge to replace staff while on jury duty given the broad labour shortages of educators and teachers is a matter ACA NSW has been engaging with the NSW Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Speakman MP, and the NSW Department of Justice.
In the meantime, ACA NSW continues to provide assistance to ACA NSW members and their staff to apply to be excused from jury duty by way of templates and customised letters as follows:
- a template letter from the staff member to The Sheriff, NSW Department of Justice;
- a template supporting letter from the employer service provider to The Sheriff, NSW Department of Justice; and
- a customised supporting letter from ACA NSW providing further official Federal Government and NSW Government reports as evidence of the challenges faced by service providers to recruit staff. The letter from ACA NSW produced will be specific for the member's staff.
The current success rate is 92%.
ACA NSW is still continuing to discuss with NSW Attorney-General Speakman and his Department about how the unintended negative experiences of early childhood education and care services and staff can be addressed.
For any further information/clarification/assistance, ACA NSW members can click here and log on using their username and password, or they can contact the ACA NSW office on 1300 556 330 or e-mail email@example.com.
PUBLISHED: 13 SEPTEMBER 2019