Jury service: do teachers need to attend?


You may be invited to attend jury service while you are teaching. In this article, we explain if you have to attend, if you can delay attending and what you are able to claim in expenses.

Completing jury service

If you receive a jury summons form, you should respond to it. You’ll be contacted by the court near the time of the trial to confirm if you need to attend.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you do not return the form or turn up for your jury service.

The court will not 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 school does not pay you during your jury service.

You will want to check if your school outlines any details about jury service in the staff handbook or in relevant pay policies.

How do I inform my school of jury service?

You can give a copy of the letter confirming your jury service to you line manager or headteacher. Your employer must let you have time off work but can ask you to delay your duty if your absence will have a serious effect on the running of the school.

You can complain to an employment tribunal if you’re unreasonably refused time of jury service.

If you’re dismissed because you complete jury service you may be able to claim unfair dismissal. However, if you employer asks you to delay jury service and you refuse, you may not be able to claim unfair dismissal. 

We have another article which outlines details about employment tribunals. 

What happens during jury service?

The Ministry of Justice has published a video which provides an overview of your role as a juror and what to expect when you attend court.

How long can jury service last for?

It 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.

Can you delay going on jury service?

You may be able to delay (defer) your duty, for example if:

  • You’ve already booked a holiday
  • You’re having an operation
  • Your school will not give you time off work

You can only defer once.

How to defer

You will need to write to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau explaining why you want to defer. Include evidence showing that you’ll not be available, for example:

  • proof that you’ve booked a holiday
  • a letter from your doctor
  • a letter from you school explaining why they’ll not 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.

What can you claim for?

You can usually claim for:

  • Travel and parking costs
  • Food and drink
  • A contribution towards your loss of earnings and other expenses

There’s a limit to how much you can claim per day.

Food and drink

You have an expenses allowance for food and drink each day you’re away from work:

  • Up to and including 10 hours a day = £5.71 per day
  • Over 10 hours a day = £12.71 per day

Loss of earnings and other expenses

This includes the cost of employing a child-minder or carer, if it’s outside your usual care arrangements.

Length of jury service Time spent each day Maximum daily amount you can claim
First 10 days 4 hours or under £32.47
First 10 days Over 4 hours £64.95
Day 11 to day 200 4 hours or under £64.95
Day 11 to day 200 Over 4 hours £129.91
After day 201 4 hours or under £114.03
After day 201 Over 4 hours £228.06

How to claim for expenses

Make your claim for expenses at the end 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 trail’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. Return it to the court with all relevant receipts. You should also include:

  • A certificate of loss of earnings if you’re working on benefits (completed by your employer or benefits office)
  • Evidence of loss of earnings if you’re self-employed, such as your most recent tax return
  • Evidence of any other expenses – including childcare expenses

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.