|Jury Service - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)|
Jury Service in Scotland (Criminal Cases)
Jury Service in Northern Ireland
How long does jury service last?
Jury service usually lasts for up to ten working days.
Many trials last only two or three days, so you may be on a jury for another trial.
If a case is complex (like fraud) it could take longer than ten days. You will be asked if this would cause you any difficulties.
What happens if I get sick during Jury Service?
Contact the Court as soon as possible to advise them. Remember the trial name and/or the Court number you are in so that the Court services can deal with your request more effectively. Once the trial has started, if you become unwell overnight or over the weekend and cannot return to the court, you must inform the Clerk of the Court as soon as possible.
Can I do jury service at a later date?
In some circumstances, you may be able to delay Jury Service - for example, you have a holiday booked.
You must state the reason on the jury summons form.
You must also state when you will be available for jury service during the next 12 month period.
You can only defer jury service once in the next 12 months.
What happens if I am on holiday?
In the event of a holiday you may need to provide proof of the booking.
What if I am currently unfit / sick?
If you are unable to do jury service at any time during the next 12 month period you must state the reason on the jury summons form.
You will need to provide evidence in the form of a doctor’s letter about the medical condition you have.
What if I have already done Jury Service?
If you have served on a jury within the previous five years you have a right to be excused.
What can I wear for Jury Service?
Jury service plays an important part in criminal law. For this reason the court considers that it is unnecessary to lay down rigid guidelines on what jurors can or cannot wear but prefers to leave the matter to your discretion and good common sense.
What do I do if I feel threatened while serving on a jury?
It is a criminal offence to intimidate, bully or attempt to influence you when you are serving on a jury.
Therefore, if you feel threatened at any time by gesture, word or action you should inform any court official or police officer immediately.
Who is not allowed to do Jury Service?
There are some situations when you are not allowed to be on a jury, for example you have:
What about taking time off work to attend Jury Service?
If you are called up for jury service your employer must allow you time off for this. If they don't, they could be in contempt of court.
The link below explains what to do with your employer if you receive a Jury summons:
The link below is a guide for employers of people on Jury Service:
Can I claim childcare costs?
You can claim for child minding costs from the court if:
The link below gives a guide to finding and choosing child care:
Can I claim for carers costs?
You can claim if you need to employ a carer to look after someone you normally care for.
The link below offers a guide to choosing carers
What can I claim? Claiming loss of earnings and other costs.
Allowances – what they are.
Jury service is unpaid but you can normally claim an allowance for:
Your employer must complete a ‘Certificate of Loss of Earnings’ form. The form and guidance are included in the pack you get sent once you have confirmed you can do jury service.
If you’re self-employed.
If you’re self-employed, you must provide the court with evidence of your loss of earnings. This could be your last tax return or a letter from your accountant giving your average gross daily income. If you do not have proof, speak to court staff on your first day of jury service.
Allowance amounts you can claim.
The tables below show the maximum daily allowance that can be paid. Court staff do not have the authority to change these amounts.
Loss of earnings or benefits – and 'other expenses'.
‘Other expenses’ include things like child minding costs. You can claim for more than one type of loss – as long as the total amount is no more than the maximum daily allowance. For example, if you’re claiming loss of earnings and child care, the total of both must not exceed the maximum daily allowance.
Travel and parking costs.
You must get permission from the court before you travel if you are either:
Subsistence – food and drink.
Some courts have catering facilities for jurors – for example, a canteen. Depending on the court, you may be able to use:
How do I make an allowance claim?
You should make your claim at the end of your jury service (and no later than three months after jury service). If this causes you problems – for example, you haven’t enough money to travel – speak to court staff.
If the trial is likely to last a long time (for example, several months) special arrangements for payment will be made.
Do I need to keep records of what I have spent?
You must keep records of costs – like ticket receipts – and send them in with your claim. If you’re unsure what should be submitted with your claim form, contact the court.
How am I paid?
You are not paid in cash. The court normally transfers your allowance claim money direct into your bank account. If this isn’t possible, speak to court staff on your first day of jury service.
When am I paid?
You should be paid within seven to ten working days after submitting your claim form. You should wait at least ten working days before contacting the court.
What if I am on benefits?
Financial support and benefits (like Jobseeker's Allowance) are unaffected for the first eight weeks while on jury service.
If your jury service lasts longer than this, contact your local Jobcentre Plus office (see the link below). You can also contact the court for advice.
Can I smoke?
What if I am sacked?
What happens if I don’t attend?
Can I delay my Jury Service?