Jury service leaves workers out of pocket

23 Jul, 2015

New research from Churchill Home Insurance reveals thousands of British workers would be forced to survive on the Governments’ statutory payments, for loss of earnings and expenses, when completing jury service.

One in twenty (five per cent) employers will not pay any wages for an employee attending jury service, leaving those completing their civic duty to survive on £32.47 or less a day.  Over a third (34 per cent) of UK employers would not pay an employee’s salary for more than five days if they were called up for jury service.   One in ten (11 per cent) UK employees would be paid their usual salary for only one day when completing their civic duty by serving on a jury.

There is no legal obligation for firms to pay employees while on jury service, although those not paid can claim a loss of earnings allowance from the court.  However, the maximum daily amount a juror can claim for the first 10 days when serving for less than four hours is £32.47, with the figure capped at £64.95 per day for those serving longer hours during this period. The research reveals that only 12 per cent of employers would cover an employee’s wages for the duration of their jury service.

With approximately 178,000 people in England and Wales called up for jury service each year, people could find themselves struggling to meet their financial commitments if their employer does not maintain their salary and they are forced to survive on statutory payments.  With the Government highlighting jurors could potentially have to serve over half a year (in excess of 201 days)the financial ramifications can be significant.  People can only defer jury service once and will need to prove they have a genuine reason to do so, such as having an operation booked.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said:  “Completing jury service is a civic duty that many Britons take pride in, but our research reveals it often leaves them out of pocket.  For a juror sitting on a long trial, with an employer not paying their regular wages, surviving on the statutory payments while meeting their regular financial commitments could be very difficult.

“Churchill Family Legal Protection is available as a policy add-on for Churchill’s home insurance customers. This covers a salary while on jury service up to the value of £100,000. One freelance lawyer claimed over £5,000 from their policy for lost wages when they were called to serve on a jury for eight days.”