If you're reading this, the chances are you've been drafted in for jury service - or are at least curious as to what happens when you are.
You must do jury service when you’re sent a jury summons form, unless you’re allowed to delay it.
You must complete and return the form within 7 days.
You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t return the form or turn up for your jury service.
The jury service will be as close as possible to where you live.
The court won’t pay you to do jury service, but you can claim expenses such as food, drink and travel.
You can also claim for loss of earnings if your employer doesn’t pay you during your jury service.
Do I HAVE to do it?
Your employer must let you have time off work but can ask you to delay your jury service if your absence will have a serious effect on business.
Your employer can choose whether or not to pay you during your service.
You can complain to an employment tribunal if you’re unreasonably refused time off for jury service.
If you’re sacked because you do jury service you may be able to claim unfair dismissal.
However, if your employer asks you to delay jury service and you refuse, you may not be able to claim unfair dismissal.
So, who's allowed to delay?
You may be able to delay (‘defer’) jury service, for example if:
- you’ve already booked a holiday
- you’re having an operation
- your employer won’t give you time off work
You can only defer jury service once.
How do you do this?
Write to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau explaining why you want to defer. Include evidence showing that you won’t be available, for example:
- proof that you’ve booked a holiday
- a letter from your doctor
- a letter from your employer explaining why they won’t give you time off
You must also list the dates when you’ll be available in the 12 months after you were supposed to start jury duty.
Did I hear you mention expenses? What can I claim?
You can usually claim for:
- travel and parking costs
- food and drink
- loss of earnings and other expenses
The court will arrange accommodation if you’re asked to stay overnight.
Jury service usually lasts up to 10 working days but can be longer.
You may be on a jury for more than one trial during your service.
How do I claim?
Make your claim for expenses at the end of your jury service - and no more than 12 months after your jury service started.
You’ll usually be paid 7 to 10 working days after submitting your claim form.
If the trial’s likely to last a long time (for example, several months) the court can make special arrangements for payment.
Fill in the claim form in the jury pack you were given at the start of jury service.
Return it to the court with all relevant receipts.
Who is exempt?
In some circumstances you can’t be on a jury, for example if you’ve been in prison in the last 10 years.