Q&A with Kristie Burt
Q: One of my workers has been selected for Jury duty. Is this a form of leave that an employee can take and is there anything else I need to know?
A: Jury duty is a form of community service leave and all employees (including casuals) are entitled to such leave to attend jury duty (including selection).
The employee should give you notice of the expected time to be served on the jury as soon as possible. It is always my advice to obtain evidence from the employee that they have been selected for jury selection and/or duty. Most jury duty notices will also include the proposed dates for the selection of the jury and the timeframe of the hearing.
For permanent employees, they are entitled to ‘make up pay’ which is the difference between what they would have been paid had they been working and the amount of jury payment received.
Casuals are entitled to the leave and are eligible to receive a jury payment for attendance but the employer would not be required to make up their pay during this time.
Q: What are the daily break entitlements for my on-site workers?
A: Firstly, there is a paid crib break (more commonly known as ‘smoko’) which is a paid rest period of 10 minutes taken between 9am and 11am.
Meal breaks (lunch breaks) are to be at least 30 minutes and taken between 12 and 1pm, unless otherwise agreed between the employer and a majority of employees. Employees shouldn’t be required to work more than five (5) hours without a break for a meal.
There are also overtime breaks (rest and meal breaks) which are specified in the Award.
Q: I am a subbie working on site and have been subject to harassment whilst on-site by another worker. Is there anything I can do to tell him to knock it off?
A: Firstly, my advice would be to have a chat with your employer and raise the issue with them. This will put them on notice that you are copping some flack from another person on site and your employer’s grievance procedure/policy should then come into effect.
If you are able to, the next step might be to approach the other worker and ask for them to stop the behaviour.
If the worker belongs to another employer, either you or your employer should raise the issues with the site supervisor and ask for it to be dealt with accordingly.
Remember to keep a note of the interactions and do your best to keep cool and not retaliate in the circumstances. You should not be subject to bullying and harassment on any site!
If you have any queries or would like to ask a question, please contact me on 6175 5919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org