All employees, including casual employees, can access community service leave for specific activities such as:
- Voluntary emergency management activities
- Jury duty (including attendance for jury selection).
Community Service leave is only paid when it comes to Jury Duty. All other leave is unpaid. Voluntary emergency management activities is considered to be activity that involves dealing with an emergency or natural disaster where the employee engages in the activity on a voluntary basis. The employee can’t just decide to go fight a fire they would need to be a member of a recognised emergency management body such as a fire-fighting, civil defence or rescue body (CFA, SES etc.)
An employee is entitled to take community service leave while they’re performing the activity and also for reasonable travel and rest time (if applicable). There is no limit on the amount of community service leave an employee can take however, their employer is within their rights to ask for evidence of the reason for the community service leave.
An employee who takes community service leave must provide notice as soon as possible to the employer including an estimate of how long they will be on leave. Best practice for this is to provide notice in writing.
Community service leave does not need to be repaid to the employer by working overtime to make up the time. it functions like all other leave.