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All you need to know about Jury Service

Jury Service is one of those things that comes around so rarely, no one really knows how it works!

If you’re selected to go down to a court and serve as a juror, you might have some worries about what this means for your money. And that’s why we’re going to look at the financial side of Jury Service such as loss of earnings and expenses.

What’s Jury Service?

When you’re called to Jury Service, you’ll sit in on a trial as a juror. Typically, you’ll serve for 10 working days.

When someone has been charged with doing something illegal, they’ll have to go to a court where all the evidence surrounding what happened will be looked at. The Judge will oversee everything, but it’s a group of 12 people chosen at random, the jurors, who’ll decide whether the defendant is guilty or not.

What happens with expenses?

Travel

Expenses depend on how you’ll get to court. If you’re using public transport, like a bus or train, you’ll need to keep your ticket and give it back to the court when you’re done as proof of what you spent.

If you’re using a car or a bicycle, you’ll just need to tell the court how far you’ve travelled and you’ll get an expense paid per mile.

Money saving tip

Make friends with a few of the jurors and see who lives nearby. That way you can claim for a passenger as well. You can claim 4.2p per mile for the first passenger, and 3.2p per mile for each additional passenger.

With a 31.4p rate for each mile on your own, if you fill four passenger seats in your car, you’ll be able to claim 45.2p per mile. If your car averages 40 miles per gallon, it only costs you 13p a mile in fuel!

Food

Normally you won’t have to keep each individual receipt for the food you buy at lunch. That’s because the food allowance of £5.71 a day is paid for every day you’re in court. What’s better is you’ll get the money even if you bring in food from home.

Money saving tip

Pack your own lunch. You’ll get the £5.71 anyway and can put it aside for something else. And, if you’re in court for more than 10 hours, the rate more than doubles to £12.17.

Pay when you’re on Jury Service

The big one for a lot of people is pay. Many employers will pay your normal salary when you’re on Jury Service. But a lot won’t, so you’ll need to check.

If they don’t, you’ll need to take a Certificate of Loss of Earnings or Benefit form for them to fill out. You’ll get this in the post. Then just hand it to the court.

If you receive benefits, you’ll also need to complete a Certificate of Loss of Earnings or Benefit form and hand it into the court. If you receive Job Seekers Allowance, you can just keep claiming that for up to eight weeks.

If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to ask for a Certificate of Loss of Earnings for Self-employed Jurors form.

You’ll then get compensation from the court. The amounts start at £32.47 per day if you’re at court for four hours or less, and then £64.95 per day if you’re at court for longer. If you need to serve for more than 10 days, you’ll get a higher rate.

Child care costs

The first thing to remember about child care costs is that the court will pay for the cost of extra child care that you would not normally need. So, if you always have child costs because of, for example, your job, you can’t claim anything.

To claim, you need to ask the court for the Juror’s childcare, vulnerable adult, elderly care provision expenses claim form. Then your child care provider will need to complete the form for you before you hand it to the court. You’ll also need a passport or birth certificate for your child, proof of their address, plus a receipt from your childminder.

The second important point is that the maximum that can be claimed is £64.95 per day, including your loss of earnings. So, if you’re already claiming for loss of earnings, you won’t get any extra to cover child care costs.

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