What Happens If I Am Chosen for Jury Service?

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. More than 400,000 people are selected for compulsory jury service each year.
  2. Jury service will normally last for two weeks, however, if you become involved in a complex case it could last considerably longer.
  3. You are only exempt from jury service in a limited number of circumstances, such as if you are on probation or suffering mental illness.
  4. A number of professions, including judges and members of the armed forces, are also exempt (read on for the full list).
  5. Your employer doesn’t have to pay you whilst you are on jury service, but you are able to claim back your loss of earnings.
  6. If you are self employed you will have to prove your loss of earnings yourself, using a letter from your accountant, for example.

More than 400,000 people are randomly chosen for jury service in the UK each year – and if you’re one of them, it is more likely than not that you will have to give up at least two weeks of your life to this important civic duty.

Being summoned is not a guarantee that you will end up sitting on a jury, but there are only a few circumstances under which you can be excused. You must have a strong reason, such as academic exams or a pre-booked holiday. However, most excuses will probably only lead to your jury service being deferred.

You’ll only be considered ineligible if you have sat on a jury within the past two years, if you are on bail or have been on probation within the last five years, if you have been sentenced to prison, youth custody or community service in the past ten years, or if you suffer from a mental health problem. If you hold any of the following positions, you would have been exempt in the past, and whilst exemption is no longer automatic you may well have a good case for not being selected;

  • Judge
  • Magistrate
  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Religious minister
  • MP
  • Member of the armed forces
  • Member of the medical profession (including chemist or vet)
  • Police or probation officer

A form to assess your eligibility will accompany the summons you receive in the post. If you don’t fit into any of the above categories, and you are aged between 18 and 70, then you must attend your local Crown Court at a given date (or you may be required at Civil Court or High Court).

Upon arrival you will join several other people arbitrarily selected from the Electoral Register. You will be instructed on how a court operates, and then 15 people will be randomly picked by court officials and shown into the courtroom. Twelve names will be called out, and if yours is one of them, you must answer “yes” and take your place in the jury box. (If you are in Scotland, you will be one of 15 jurors, not 12.)

You will be sworn in once the case’s lawyers have been given the chance to challenge your selection. (They are unlikely to do so because challenges are rare.)

You will take an oath on the holy book of your religion, or if you do not practice religion, you will be asked to ‘affirm’ – which holds the same significance as an oath.

How Long & Will I Still Get Paid?

The standard length of jury service is about two weeks. The average case lasts only a day or two, so you’ll probably be expected to sit on more than one trial.

If your first case is large and complex (centring on a murder or business fraud, for example), or experiences serious delays, you might have to spend several more weeks as a juror – or perhaps months! (The jurors on the Jubilee Line fraud trial sat for almost two years before the case collapsed in May 2005.)

Your employer does not have to pay you while you are on jury duty, unless there is a clause in your contract that says otherwise. Your employer must, however, allow you time off to perform your service. Refusal will mean that he or she is in contempt of court and could face a fine or even imprisonment.

You can claim for loss of earnings as long as your employer fills in a Certificate of Loss of Earnings, which you must take with you on your first day of court. If you are self-employed you should provide the court with some proof that you have lost earnings – a letter from your accountant, for instance.

All jurors are given a daily subsistence allowance for food and drink and can claim travel expenses and, in some cases, parking. Jurors with children can also claim for childminding expenses.

However there are caps on what you can claim, and, for many people, this can turn jury service into a real financial burden. At present these are the caps on what you can claim back whilst on jury service.

Hours Served per DayDays ServedMaximum Allowance per Day
Up to 4 1-10 £32.47
Up to 4 11-200 £64.95
Up to 4 201 + £114.9
Over 4 1-10 £64.95
Over 4 11-200 £129.91
Over 4 201 + £228.06


Further Reading

  • If you are interested in getting more involved in the justice system you can apply to become a magistrate. You don't need any formal qualifications but you must meet certain criteria. Read our guide on how to become a magistrate for more info.
  • Jury service can have a big impact on your working life. For more advice on employment issues read our guide to giving your notice.
  • The government’s site have even more advice on what being selected for jury service will mean to you.
134 comments - Want to comment on this article? Click here
Andrew Andrew

hello im out of work and struggling to survive as it is.i will find it hard to find the bus fair and i have been told you only get back half the fair is this true.

melanie melanie

Im similar to you Michelle, my partner has just started jury service today and although im not due for 5 weeks im worried what will happen if the jury service goes over the initial 2 weeks or the baby comes early! i really dont want to do it without him

Michelle Michelle

Hi my husband just received a summons for jury duty. It is two weeks prior to my due date for our first child being born. I need my husband to be there at the birth of our first child. he is my main support and aside from the fact I could be in labour the day he has to attend if I go into labour and hes in court I will not be able to contact him to let him know. We sent back for special circumstances and hope they can reschedule the jury service. Will they take my pregnancy into consideration. After all Dads have right too.

Nicole Nicole

Hi, I've looked everywhere for information on shift work but can't find any.

I work from 3-10pm 10pm-7.30am and then 7.30am-10.00. Referred to as a late sleep and early. I do this every Monday Wednesday and Saturday into Sunday where I will work to 3pm. so am I expected to now do jury service Monday-Friday. And then do a 24 hour shift to then go back in on Monday??

Roda:26/01/2014 Roda:26/01/2014

Hello, i have been selectes fore jury service.and i have children they go to two diffrent school and if i pick up school my husben pick the ather children and iam breasfeeding my English very poor and my husben workin and all so my english is very poor please helpp

Kind Regards


Hi, I have been selected for jury service next month (for the 3rd time!), and this time, because of the location, I will need to catch a bus and train to get there. Although I am not particularly worried about the jury service itself, I am very anxious about the public transport aspect as I am a complete train/bus novice. What happens if my train is cancelled? Will I be held in contempt? Being late or not showing up is surely not an option?!

Tracey Tracey

I have short term memory dyslexia and am unsure I can retain all the information, does this mean I am exempt from jury service.

Andrew Andrew

I am a second year university student who has been called for jury duty. If I attend I will certainly fail my year and if I defer it for 12 months I will be in the middle of my final year which would be even worse. The system stinks.



gemma gemma

Ive been summoned for jury duty, can i go if i am out of work for depression and anxiety.

Also if they do make me go will i loose my disability benefit.

Dan Dan

Hi , I Have been summoned for next jan 2013. I'm self employed as a sole trader and really cannot afford to take the time away from my business, I have so much on and will lose customers if I am unable to work. This could potentially damage my hard earned customer base over the past 5 years. I don't want to do it at all. Not only will lose money but more importantly my clients. Can I be excused. Thanks

Lizzy Lizzy

I am going to refuse to do jury service if ever I am selected for a couple of reasons. 1: I was part of a very traumatic courtcase involving child sexual abuse in my early teens, and I sincerely believe in myself that the whole process would be extremly distressing for me. After all,we none of us know what the case will entail, until we attend the court and if and when we are selected. 2: I have a number of health issues that prevent me from working, and cause me tremendous pain everyday of my life. I would not physically be able to maintain the sitting,standing and travelling there and back for the duration of the case. Surely these would be valid reasons enough for me to be exempt? I'm NOT doing it anyway. My mind is made up on this!

John John

Is my employer breaking confidentiality by sharing with my colleagues, that i am on jury duty?

Pig Pig

I have just finished jury service and submitted my expenses .. being over 65 I assumed I'm only eligible for transport and basic subsistence (£5.71/day), is this correct or could I also claim for loss of income ?

Jessica Jessica

Hi Clare. I had a small baby when first summoned and requested deferment because I was main carer for him and fully breastfeeding. I gave dates as to when it would be possible for me to serve, but I think I could have asked for exemption for childcare reasons. (I'm actually quite interested in doing it and have been able to make arrangements for my now-18 mth old with family.) If you are the fulltime carer of a child I'm sure you can be exempted. It might be more difficult if you return to work.

clare clare

hi there I have received a summons for jury service today and have 2 issues/queries?

1, my jury service is due to start 18th November, I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and due to give birth in the next six weeks, meaning my baby will only be about a month old when my jury service is to begin, can I deffer the date as I am currently pregnant and will have no childcare for a baby that young?

2, I am on maternity leave from my employer so wont be eligible for loss of earnings, can I still claim expenses?

thankyou in advance

Matt.T Matt.T

Hi,I've been called up for service in London however I live in the north east.this is not a problem for me but am wandering if they will pay for me to stay in a hotel or b&b whilst on service?thanks,matt.t

Hilary Hilary


I deferred jury service to a new date but am now moving abroad will this be a problem?

Barbara Barbara

I received a letter to inform me I had been picked for Jury Service. I am stressed to the hilt about it. I have high levels of Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Also, my nearest Court is 65 miles away, and I have no vehicle ! It would mean having to stay away from home I guess, which adds to my stress. Nor do I believe in the Archaic Jury System........which is in my opinion, the best that MONEY can buy !!

Katie Katie

Is this right? I live in Scotland and received a letter in February advising me I had been selected for jury service. The letter contained a form which I had to send back within 7 days. I did this but have not heard anything since. I have not been given a date, or any other information. Is this normal? It's been 6 months?!

Jenny E Jenny E

I've been called for Jury Service. Having a life threatening auto-immune condition: Antiphospholipid Syndrome (CNS) and mild Lupus, it makes it impossible to plan ahead. Migraines, pain, mini stokes, confusion, transient global amnesia can make it impossible to function for a while at any time. I ticked the 'deferral' box so I could sort this out and get supporting documents. Do I have to commit to this when I've no idea whether I'll be well enough to perform the role?

Amy Amy

How long does a confirmation of the jury service letter arrive back? I've been chosen for next month and still haven't received it

Name (required) Name (required)

What happens if I don't own a suit and have koumpounophobia?

Steph Steph

Hi, ive been called to do jury service in a weeks time. The only part im worried about is swearing on oath as I get really anxious and nervous if I have to talk in front of a load of people. Who is in the court when we have to do this and do we have to stand in a box on our own to do it?? I know it sounds silly but that's the one part im dreading!

jimmymcw jimmymcw

I like many others were summonsed ( although pressed ganged would be a more apt description) for jury service and have now discovered how farcial the present system can be. Myself along with some 75 others just sat there in a environment similar to a airport departure lounge only to find out the majority of us were sent home each day and lots of us told on wednesday not to return until monday where there is every chance the same situation will arise
What I also now realise is the complete disregrard there is towards the immense inconvenience caused to myself and no doubt lots of others and no explanation at all given as to why all loss of earnings (rather than just the pittance offered) is not reimbursed to anyone like myself who in fact has to actually pay heavily for this unwanted "privilege"

Gary W Gary W

I have just wasted four days of my life on so called jury service I was summoned to attend for 10 days and made arrangements with my employer after four days being imprisoned in the jurors room around 20 of us were told we were not needed no apologies or anything civil duty what a joke I bet the defendants are better treated I live in hope to receive a letter of a apology or thanks but probably have more chance of winning the Euro-lottery

Billie Billie

Hi, I suffer from depression linked with stress, I am not on any medication at the moment but I have been in the past so where would I stand in this case?

michelle michelle

I have been selected for jury service , my problem is I cant read or right

Victoria Victoria

Hi there,
My mother has been asked to be part of the jury, the problem is that her English is quite poor. Will she be able to be deffered or will she be provided with a translator?
Thank you.

Gilli Gilli

I was called up for jury service in September 2012 but deferred it due to a college commitment and I am due to serve in June.
I have recently been diagnosed with a painful neck condition and while i am still at work my working hours have been reduced to 8.30-2.30 to be reviewed after 5 weeks.
I have also been advised to avoid sitting in one posiiton for too long and to take rest breaks.
I am due to start physiotherapy the week before my jury Service starts and have beem told by my GP that if my pain gets any more severe I will be signed off.

Would this give me grounds to ask to be excused jury service on medical grounds?

Ewan Stewart Ewan Stewart

I have just been summoned for jury service. However, I have a form of dyslexia which severely affects my short term memory and my close reading skills.

Would I be able to get off jury service for this? And if I can, what is the best way to prove my disability to a court?

Paula Paula

I've been called for jury service, which isn't a problem but the amount for loss of earning is only a three of my daily rate of pay so how will that work, will I be out of pocket.

Geri Geri

I'm 44 years old and I've never been selected for jury service. Nearly all of my friends and colleagues have been selected, some of them more than once. I’m starting to feel like there’s something wrong with me. I’m the only person I know who would love to do it but never gets picked.

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Maurice,

This guide to jury service exemptions from the Scottish Courts doesn’t mention ex-policemen at all.

Hi Mairi

Contact the court and ask. They may be able to help in someway, for example, they might be able to provide transcripts for you. Extra help is usually provided to help with hearing impairments.

Maurice Maurice

I'm a retired PC with the Metropolitan Police, in England I'm exempted for life. But having lived in Scotland I have just received my first Notice of selection, am I exempt in Scotland as the noticed I received only stated that current serving (you are a) Police Officer are Exempt.
Can you confirm this or not...

Mairi Reid Mairi Reid

I have been called for jury duty in May 2013. I don't mind this at all as I have no real ties and it wouldn't cause any financial hassle. What is worrying me is that I have tinnitus. I can hear fine if the person is quite close and there are no other noises but I have difficulty hearing people who are a distance away from me as the constant "whine/whistle" takes precedence. Would I be allowed to do jury duty with this?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Lisa,

Health problems can be a good basis to apply for a deferral and mental health conditions can be grounds for you be excused entirely. Having an operation booked is categorically listed as being fair reason to have service deferred (as per this jury service overview.

You should write to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau. (You can also email - jurysummoning@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk - or call - 0845 803 8003 for further advice.)

This PDF on guidelines for deferrals and excusals from jury service should give you an idea of what to draw attention to when applying for deferral/excusal. (Points 2 and 21 would be most relevant to you.)

On the financial side of things, with regards to childcare you can claim back any expenses in excess of what you would normally pay in your day to day life. You will also be paid for attending jury service (you can see the rates paid in the table above.)

In addition, your employer may well continue to pay you all or part of your wage whilst you are on jury service. If not they can provide you with a loss of earnings form you can use to claim back the money.

Hi Tina,

It should be your local crown court. Contact them for details.

Hi Steph,

Where did you come across that term?

Hi James,

No, that’s not the case. As Gary points out below, it simply means you can rearrange to do it at a more conveniently located court.

Hi Kristina,

For an example of what jury service is like, Karen’s account (the comment above yours) gives a good insight.

With regards to paying for childcare whilst you are serving, you will be able to claim this money back.

As per point six of these guidelines for deferrals and excusals insufficient understanding of English could be used as a reason to apply to be excused.

Hi Kat,

Aside from the tricky issues to do with your residency status you can normally be excused from duty completely if you have insufficient understanding of English as you suggest you do.

To apply to be excused you should write to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau. (You can also email - jurysummoning@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk - or call - 0845 803 8003 for further advice.)

Gary Gary

@ James S

Unfortunately moving house will not make you exempt from Your jury summons as technically your NAME was selected at random from the electoral register.

if anything depending on where you've moved from-to might change which court you're required to attend but thats it. please remember if you fail to attend without good reason the judge may favour slapping your absece with a fine or even imprisonment.

Tina Weiss Tina Weiss

I am due to start jury service tomorrow and have not received a confirmation form. Do I still have to go? What time should I arrive and what id do i need to bring?

lisa lisa

I have just been summonned for jury service in june but i was told yesterday i will need to have an operation on my back so am waiting for a date. Can i be excused on these grounds? Allso. Ihave been on anti depressants and beta blockers for panic attacks and depression for 3 yrs now, am obviously stable and working but the thought of going to court scares the hell out of me. Worried ill hear something terrible that i wont be able to forget. Im also a single parent with 2 children in a village with no childminders and an after school club which will cost me £40 per day , my parents both have serious health problems and im a casual worker! I usually work 16/18 hrs p/w so if i dont work i wont get paid and im under the impression because of that the courts wont pay me. Very anxious about it and with a family member in trouble with police causing problems for the family its stress i could do without. Any good advice would be much appreciated

Dave Dave

I have tourettes and swear frequently and loudly but don't see a doctor, do I have to attend?

Steph78 Steph78

What does duty on call mean

James S James S


I was originally summoned whilst living at a previous address and then deferred for work reasons. The confirmation of the new date for appearance (set 12 months on from the original) was also sent to this old address.

Given that I do not live at this address, does that now make me exempt? (as my original selection was based on address/electoral roll)

thanks in advance for any advice

Karen Karen

In my case this happenend! You will need to turn up at your allocated court on the first day with all your id (passport etc). In the waiting room you will have an explanation of your role through a video.(They will not tolerate late arrival so make sure you arrive in good time!) When escorted into court you will then have to confirm you are there when they call out your name. Then they shuffle the name cards and if you are called out the you then sit down in the court (people not selected go back to the waiting room and have boredom!). At this point (if selected) the accused can reject you if he/she has a good reason. If this does not happen then you are straight into saying the oath, followed by the court case starting (this can be a shock... no time to digest the case as the case you are hearing is read out). At all times you will be guided back and forth to the court room and locked in your debating room when not in court for your safety. Be prepared you might be sent to one court but not actually remain there (I did a total of 2 courts - not my original court!). As the last case was rather nasty the judge let us off fulfilling a whole second week. It was a really interesting experience, but mentally draining as you have to listen so carefully all day and of course it can be difficult to really get to the bottom of the truth. I found I was totally exhausted each day and wanted to share my concerns, but of course you can't as sworn to secrecy! All the people I met were fabulous and by the end of the two weeks we had a stong bond. I would do it again if I had to but be prepared some of the evidence can be quite upsetting and the sad thing is you can have a strong gut feeling that he/she might be guilty but if you have any doubt, you have to let them off! That was the most frustrating thing if anything. Good luck!

cristina cristina

hi i received a letter about jury summons today!!!i never heard about this! i have two daughter at school and have to drop them and pick them from school, my english is not perfect! can anyone tell me why do i need to go there!?and what happens while we are there!!!thank you

Kat Kat

Hello, writting to ask for an advice as I am in big stress. I haven´t been in the UK since the last summer, moved back to my own country with my kids, only my husband has been working in the UK. As I understand, I am still a resident in the UK. Many people from my country left the UK as residents. Never heart I shoud inform some institutions that I was leaving the country. Also, we were not sure if we will not come back after some time. In September 2012 I apologised to the Jury service for being out from the UK for family reasons and now I supposed to come in April 2013. I live in my country, work here, children attend school here. PLEASE, GIVE ME SOME ADVICE WHAT SHOULD I DO TO KINDLY APPOLOGISE AND NOT TO GO TO JURY SERVICE IN THE UK? IF NECESSARY, WILL CANCEL MY RESIDENCY THERE. If necessary I will go to the British ambassy in my country.. (Also there are a few reasons-problems not to go to the UK as: my children atted school, no one can take care of them. If I took them my travelling would cost me even more. Not sure if I can come only for one day jury service and buy return ticket back to my home country. Cannot take off from my work in my country, we do not have anything like jury service here. I am worried that I WILL NOT UNDERSTAND in spoken/writen English and then I will have to give my opinion about THE CASE!! Also, I don´t like a crime or to solve problems of others and decide "guilty/not guilty". All about jury matters stress me!) THESE ARE MY PROBLEMS.. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE.

Phil Vernall Phil Vernall

People whom are forced to attend jury service,especially mothers.Can be provoked into some very awkward and costly situations which the british justice dont give two hoots about,(and thats the politest way I can put it) this jury rule is more out dated than some of the british justice,s definition of fair justice,,

Simon Simon

I have just wasted another 4 days of my life, sat in a Jury waiting room at Crown Court.
This is the second time in three years.

I was happy to do it and actually looking forward to the experience.
I am self employed, so had to make extensive arrangements to cover my absence for two weeks.

Discharged today and not required for second week..
What a waste of time and money.

They recruit far too many people twice week and the place was full of people who did not want to be there!


Lou - you need to tell them you no longer live in Northern Ireland. I had the same problem and once I wrote back asking for a change of some sort, they changed it to my local court instead. Hope that helps.

Charlene Charlene

I have also been called up for Jury service on the 4th March. I am employed under a causal basis but I will not be getting paid by my employer. I am not self employed and the money I claim for loss of earnings doesn't even cover half of my daily wage. I am so worried about my bills ect as I am single and live a private rented flat. I wish they took into consideration that 2 weeks loss of earnings will have an affect as my Landlord won't be impressed with the 'Sorry I had Jury service' if I cannot afford my rent excuse. I am looking forward to doing the service but the loss of money is a massive worry.

Keely Keely

If you've been confirmed to attend your jury summond does it run over the weekend?

Lou Lou

I am originally from Northern Ireland but i have been working and living in England for the past 6 years. I pay council tax here and have sent my electoral register info in for here. I have been called for jury service in Northern Ireland. I own a house in Northern Ireland which is rented out. Do I have to go back to Ireland to do the jury service. If I do who will pay all the costs ie: flights accommodation etc...
Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Karen Karen

I qualify as a nurse in March after 3 years at university. I will more than likely have the offer of a job before then. Will I be exempt as a nurse?

lynn lynn

i have been called for jury service but i am a carer for my mum do i have to do it

mike mike

i have been selected for service and my work wont be paying me, So what do i do for rent, gas, electric and food for me and my son plus bills which come out weekly, haven't got time to wait to claim money back my son needs roof over his head, food to eat, gas for heat and electric to make every think work in the house and will the court pay for my court fine to for criminal damage to

Baan Baan

Hi..I have been summond for the 25th of Feb.2013. However 2 things that would make it really difficult for ne to attend are..
1. I had a leg injury which meant torn muscels and legiments in my leg..im still under intense physio as ut is not improving as it should. Furthermore I now have also problems with my hips due to this and cannot sit for long periods and litterally have to lie down every 1hr or so for 15 min to take the strain of my leg and hips as it is rather painful.still having physio btw.

2. Im run my own online bicycle business for 2 yrs now. and do everything myself. The products are rather specific and most are also exclusive brands to the UK.
I do customer service, marketing, seo, soc.media..anything to drive traffic to site in order to convert sales...I work the entire day as it is a hard job to do. And as im a small business I do not take a wage in order to keep money in to reinvest to increase brandawareness etc..I do am in receipt of working tax credit which is really what I live of at the moment. Me nit being there would be the end if my business!

What can I do and if deferred would I be entitled to compensation besides travel and food when asked for a next time?

Really hope to hear from you soon with sound advice as what to do.

Thank you

Rob Brown Rob Brown

I have just got the letter for jury service and I am currently on the NHS waiting list for an operation. Does anyone know what happens if the operation date falls within the jury service period?

Eric Eric


My mum was summoned for jury service and received the letter about a month ago or something like that, because she can't read or understand much English she didn't know what it was until I read it about 10 minutes ago, surly she won't be able to do it as she down not understand anything about it, what should see do..?

dee dee

I have had my jury service successfully deferred and had a letter saying I need to go to court in July 2013. Will i get another letter confirming this for definite or do I turn up on the date they gave me in the deferral letter?

Tommy Morris Tommy Morris

Lil J.

That's fine. Actually, a £1000 fine and a few days in jail.

Get a grip!

Lil J Lil J

The UK law courts are a corrupt dictatorship, it would not be in their interest to have me sitting next to one of their criminal judges who should be in prison for corruption and human rights abuses.

If they send a request for my attendance, I expect them to withdraw it as I would not be a quiet participant in the administration of their corruption if forced to attend.

Is this clear?

Laura Laura


my Mum (aged 68) has been called for Jury Service on 7th January 2013, but I am due to give birth on 2nd January 2013 and my father whom she cares for is due to start his 4th round of treatment for cancer. Is that a valid reason for deferment/removal from service? If so, how does she get this?


Jordan Jordan

I have recently been summoned for jury service, I am an 19 year old student, currently in full time education at college. Due to the nature of my course, missing two weeks is like missing a whole term and therefore doing the service would impact my possibility of passing massively. Would they allow me miss it because of this? Any helpful information would be great.

rukhsana rukhsana

I am a nurse working in a nursing home.Could i be exempt for jury service as it would be difficult for my employer to get someone else to cover my shifts, and it could cause alot of trouble to all.


HI there. I moved from london to plymouth in may and get my mail redirected still. I have filled out electoraal paperwork at my nee address but have bn summond to do jury service in croydon on 7th jan. I am a single parent to 3 children. I do employ a nanny but the costs will be huuuge. Can u advise if its worth defferring. I dont want to as I am really keen to do it but 300miles is a long way to travel while incurring childcare costs. I await ur response . Thanks

Lorraine Lorraine

I am a foster carer and have been summoned for Jury Service on 2nd January. The last two days of the Christmas school holiday. All foster carers are self employed and because of the vulnerability of the children in my care I can't just drop them at a childminders. How long does a day in court last? Any advice would be gratefully received, thank you.

If I was in my old job 9-5 in an officewith no dependants I would love to do Jury Service.

Nazma begum Nazma begum

hii there. i have been chosen for the jury summon but i have a 8 month old child and a 3 year old child they don't stay with out me. i have to cook and look after my family as everything rely on me. so will i be excused?

Janice Janice

Hi there Iv been called up for jury duty and I am currently 34weeks pregnant and have a 3year old child, can I be excused or defer this under the circumstances?

Frances Frances

I look after my two grandchildren after school as their parents work full time. I have done jury service, but it has cost £125 a week to put the children in after school care. I have been told I cannot be reimbursed for this! It is a huge cost arising solely from my jury service. How can this be fair?

julie julie

my husband has been called for jury service in beg of dec which is his busiest time of the year as he is a post man work will give him unpaid leave, so can he claim his wage plus the over time he will be missing ?, also does he have to wait till his service is finished befor he is paid as that would seriously affect us if its 2 weeks after ?

t powers t powers

My wife has been called for jury service on the day before her 70th birthday.as she has recently had surgery and is likely to have further hospital appointments.She has asked to be excused

Shera Shera

My father is coming to stay with us for a few months. He requires looking after and it would be unfair to do jury service while this man wishes to spend his last few months with his family. Is this acceptable enough to have Jury service deferred.

Sam Sam

Hi there i am meant to start jury service on the 8th october. I can not afford to pay for childcare costs due to finacial issues plus childcare providers want money up front. This is seriously putting me under alot of stress would the courts consider a deferral? I have had to defer already due to childcare

Ella Ella

Interesting reading - as yet another example of PREJUDICE is exposed! How disgusting, stereotypical and archaic it is, that mental health is classed as an exclusion.
Why should somebody who has suffered depression (or another mental health problem) in the past be excluded from Jury Service? After all, statistically, 1 in 4 people in the U.K. will experience some sort of mental ill health in their lifetime. That's a lot of people to exclude!
Furthermore, these may be people who have valuable experience and knowledge that they could bring to jury service. Many Nurses, Social Workers, Doctors, Psychologists (etc.) have past experience of personal mental health problems that they use to great effect at work. So do people from ALL walks of life, including Police, Probation Workers, Solicitors... Surely, the simple fact that a person with past mental health issues can enter into a successful career is evidence that they can also be of use in terms of jury service? Many people with past mental health problems are in jobs that actually mean they could bring a lot of expertise to jury service.
Additionally, why the "blanket" discrimination? Surely, there can be NO blame (if that is what we are really talking about) attached to having a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress, after having been in a car crash? But that would still class as a mental illness, so lead to inability to serve as a juror! This would tend to suggest not only prejudice, but also a system where people are repeatedly punished for something that is NOT their fault. They suffer first of all the horror of a traumatic incident, then the stigma of being labelled mentally ill, and added to that is the shame of being excluded from jury service. Why? Are they not considered "good enough"?
Does mental illness, past or present, make a person unintelligent? Or immoral? Surely it is the ability to tell wrong from right, and to evaluate evidence, that is necessary in a good juror? Even people with Bi-Polar disorder or Schizophrenia are NOT lacking in the intellect, and morality, departments! Besides, every person's judgement is different - and that includes people who are not labelled with mental health problems (past or present). Even the so-called "sane" person can display poor judgement, and behave immorally. For example, most drunk-drivers are NOT mentally ill. Most perpetrators of domestic violence are NOT mentally ill.
Are we trying to suggest that someone like STEPHEN FRY is NOT suitable as a jury member? After all, he has admitted to Bi-Polar disorder! What about Catherine Zeta Jones (Bi-Polar), or Marcus Trescothick (depression), or Carrie Fisher (Bi-Polar), or Emma Thompson (depression), John Cleese (depression), Jim Carey (depression), David Beckham (O.C.D), or Cameron Diaz (O.C.D.)? ALL have spoken openly and frankly about experiences with mental health problems. Should they ALL be banned?
Besides, some seriously famous figures in history - real GREATS - have had mental health issues. Winston Churchill openly talked of his depression as the "black dog". Abraham Lincoln suffered, too. Is there anyone out there who would like to suggest that two of the greatest premiers of all time, should have been banned from jury service?
IT DISGUSTS ME that in this day and age such open and ignorant prejudice exists. How on earth can the stigma of mental health problems ever be removed from society, when such blatant prejudice still exists at the heart of our governmental system? It's such a PITY that there are still people out there who feel that individuals with experience of mental illness are "second rate citizens". Even worse, to think that such prejudiced individuals control such important aspects of daily life. Worst of all, to see that such people DO NOT even recognise the significant and important contributions made to society by those who DO have experience of mental illness (such as the famous people listed above).
For goodness sake! People with mental health problems ar

Mary Mary

I have a five year old daaughter - I need to take her to school and collect her - I have no family near by and do not use any other childcare..
I am also a manger of Special Educational Needs children who rely on me for emotional support in school; if I were away for any length of time, it would be of detriment to those children; not to mention my own daughter - Is this reasonable grounds for excusal??

Helen Helen

I've been summoned for Jury Duty but am on holiday (that was booked a number of months ago) I am requesting to be deferred. Could you tell me whether I will hear back to say this has been accepted and how long is it normally before I would receive another date

daniel daniel

Hi, I work on a private yacht and have not lived in the UK for 2 years and have just been called for Jury service. I am now in Montenegro and have no plans to return to the UK for any length of time in the foreseeable future, will I be able to get excused or will I have to defer? I see myself as a non-UK resident...

Any help much appreciated.

Paul Paul

Hi, I have been called to jury duty in Ireland (my home country) but I work in England.

Do I have to go and if so who pays for my flights etc??

niki niki

Hi, I have just been called up for jury service but suffer from Crohns disease. This can mean mornings where I can't get out of the door due to my condition.
Can I reply with a doctors letter attached to the form or is it best to ring them?
Many thanks

sandra sandra

im self employed and have to jury service next week im the only working member in my home i stand to loose about £1500 if i dont work i have already deffered once because of work commitments ... im not at all happy what can i do ?

Thomas Thomas

I haven't been called up for UK Jury Service, though it's probably only a matter of time. I am a grad student studying in Europe. I come back to the UK once or twice a year for a couple of days at family occasions. I match my living expenses with part-time work but have no savings. Out of interest, would an exemption apply in such a case as mine and, if not, would the authorities pay for travel expenses to the UK in advance? Thanks for any advice you can give.

Emma Emma

I recently found out that the court wrote to my old address asking me to attend jury duty at my 'local court'. I moved to a different county (the other side of the country) almost a year ago, so this is miles away from me now and would involve travel costs and hotel for however long. Will they make me attend jury duty at the original address or move it to my now local court? Also, I am taking antidepressants regularly, but can function normally on these and would have no trouble considering a verdict. Should I mention this? Lastly, I work full time and am also taking a degree through the OU. My next module begins the same week the jury duty does. Will this be a problem, or can I just take the study materials with me and work in the lunchbreak (I can't defer the uni course as I need to complete it within 2 years)? Other than that, I'm quite excited about sitting in a trial! : )

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Chris,

Normally if you have a pre-booked holiday, service can be deferred. This is probably what should have happened in the first place. You should contact the summoning Bureau on 0845 803 8003 to find out where you stand as expenses that you can claim back generally only apply to travel, childcare and loss of earnings due to not being at work.

Hi Gordon,

If you fill in a loss of earnings form for him he will be paid some money by the court. You can then top this up for him to bring the amount up to what he would have been paid. This way he’ll earn his normal wage, and as the courts payments will be documented, you’ll know how many days he actually attended.

Hi Jo,

You can claim back any child care costs that are in excess of what you’d normally spend on childcare.

Hi Andy,

That should be considered reasonable grounds to have your service deferred until a case comes up for you closer to home. If not, you will be at least be fully compensated for your travel costs. Given that this is the case, they should be looking to have your service transferred. They’ll have a big bill otherwise!

Hi Dai,

What is your working status? Are you an employer or an employee?

Hi Katty,

You can apply for a deferral. If not, you could argue that the cost of the entire business should be included in your loss of earnings.

Hi Chris,

You could try applying for a deferral, but it sounds like you’d be unlikely to get it.

Hi Jen,

Unless I’ve misunderstood your post, I can’t see any reason why they’d let you be excused. You’ll probably have to go.

Hi Nicholas,

Yes, you can be excused if you can provide some documentation confirming your condition.

Hi Tom,

Have you made a formal request for deferral? Those on educational courses are normally allowed to defer if they can affirm they’re attendance with a letter from a relevant authority.

Hi Angie,

If you have proof of a pre-booked holiday you can have your service deferred.

Hi Trisha,

They may not allow you to defer, as they’ll cover your childcare costs for you to allow you to ensure he is being properly looked after in your absence.

Hi Ron,

That depends on the manner of your conviction. Excusal is not always automatic.

Hi Joanne,

Again, as you can have your extra childcare costs paid for by the court, you may find it difficult to be excused on these grounds.

joanne jones joanne jones

Hi i have had a jury summons for 22nd oct i have a 9 year old and a 13 year old i can not leave alone i also work part time and look after my 11month old grand son 3 days a week the schools are also off from the 26 th oct i seriously have no idea how i am going to be able to do jury service at the moment do i have to do it or can i be excused thanks jo x

ron miles ron miles

i am due for jury service on the 17 sept can i get out of this if i already have a criminal record ? thanks

Trisha Hobson Trisha Hobson

Just been summoned for Jury Service in September. Am widowed with a son and have always done voluntary work to fit in with school hours as I have no family living locally. What do you think my chances are if I offer to do it when he is older and more independent?

Angie Angie

I have been called to do Jury service, I am a carer for my wife and the family have booked a weeks holiday which coincides with the date of Jury service what can I do about it

tom tom

My daughter is a vet student who has various placement criteria to be met, which has taken a year or so to arrange and involves having to get practical experience on a range of predetermined issues at different locations in the country, for her degree. On top of that she has an exam to resit. Her workload is extremely stressful. Now she has been told that she must attend the High court (with approximately 4 weeks notice) on 16th July 2012, 2 weeks before her exam.This has thrown some of the plans up in the air and it will not be possible to reschedule. Surely there should be automatic exemption or at least a sympathetic view to people is her situation as even a letter from the university head did not have any effect on the decision. Also if she fails her resit she has to apply to retake the year which isn't always granted as there has to be places available in that year. This could result in losing her place at university.
Could someone please advise me as to any way to get an exemption

Hannah Hannah

What happens if you don't turn up? I have agoraphobia, social phobia, and IBS that prevents me from travelling. I can't get a diagnosis of any of these conditions because I can't get to a doctor. I am quite happy to pay a fine and/or get a criminal record for not turning up but I won't be able to attend court to be sentenced.

derek macdonald derek macdonald

i have been called up for jury duty during my summer holidays and while i have no plans to go anywhere i am wondering if i am entitled to get my holidays back from my employer if i get picked to be on a jury?

Darren Darren

Ok, I am working full time, paying a mortgage, and trying my hardest to cover the cost of an Open University degree (which is ever increasing in price).

If I take a half day for under 4 hours, I will lose a full days wages (wont be able to make it too work to cover the other half of the day). If I have to live on £32 - £64 a day for any length of time thats going to demolish me financially and any hope of doing the Open Uni degree.

I am beyond livid about being called up. Its criminal you can be expected to survive off of £32 a day.

Nicholsf Nicholsf

I have been getting treated for clinical depression for the last two years. Does suffering from this form of mental illness exclude me from jury duty? It is something I am willing to participate in health dependant of course.

Jen Jen

I have just been summoned for Jury Duty next month, but I haven't been living in that region of the country for the last 6 months. Firstly, how could this have happened? All my bills/council tax have been paid and registered to my name since November last year. And secondly, do I have any case for getting out of it? Can I request someone else go in my place? Thanks.

Chris Chris

I have been sumoned for jury service which I find very intimidating, I appreciate I do not have a medical condition but this has caused me a lot of stress and anxiety as I do not wish to attend court under any circumstances - is there anything I can do for refusal?

Katy Lunt Katy Lunt

Ive recently started my own business as an employment agency, I have no other employees and i'm registered as a soletrader

Been summond for jury at this point in my first 6 months in business would bankrupt my business - there would be no one to answer calls, respond to emails, fill jobs I have for my clients and would basically kill my business.

I really would like to take part in giving something back to my community by taking part in my summons -but realised that i'm putting my own career / business and livelyhood at steak.

No amount of money paid for time off work would be enough for losing my business ;(

Please advise???

Dai_spurs Dai_spurs

I'm very busy at work, what do I do to get out off jury duty

andy andy

Any help with the following would be appreciated;
I've been selected for service in August, at which point I will have moved 250 miles away from the court in my current city. Would I be able to request my service be transferred to my new home city, or would I be expected to travel each day from home to jury service ( a round trip of 500 miles). I'm happy to do the service as I realsie it's the law, but don't know how I could afford to do it at such a distance.

Jo Jo

I'm due to start jury service on Tuesday. I'm a stay at home mother of two children under school age. I managed to arrange childcare for the first week and may be able to scrape something together in the second week (this is using 5 different people at different times of each day). What happens if I just can't arrange childcare after that? I can't leave my kids alone and if my husband has to take time of work this isn't compensated and we'd be screwed.

e-isah@hotmail.com e-isah@hotmail.com

Due on jury service Monday, first time, do I have to wait around long ?

and if I am not selected will I have to hang around?


gordon taylor gordon taylor

as an employer i have a guy saying he has been called for jury service i have agreed to pay him his normal wage
will i get any proof from the courts that he has attended the days he says or could his stint be over in 1 day and i end up paying him for two weeks holiday if he tells me he is going every day still

Chris Chris

My partner has been called up to jury service and is now sitting on a case that is set to last roughly 5 weeks. Problem is, in just over 5 weeks we do have a pre-booked holiday which the courts are aware of. Where would we stand financially if the case runs over the time we are due to leave on our holiday? I know we wouldn't be able to go but would we be able to claim back anything considering it has been fully paid, we are talking money in the thousands.

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Phil,

Yes that is possible, as they most likely haven’t been on probation in the last five years.

Hi Carol,

The City Thameslink station is within easy walking distance.

Hi Kealeigh,

All you can really do is apply and hope for the best I’m afraid. You should have a strong case for a deferral, but excusal is obviously harder to get.

Phil Sloan Phil Sloan

I became aware at the weekend that someone claimed to be on jury service even though they were convicted back in 2005, a non-custodial sentence but they had to wear a tag for 3 months. Is this possible?

carol hain carol hain

I have been selected or jury service in august . Im not keen on the underground and have to go to the old bailey do you know if there is a train station near ,i dont mind a walking distance i am traveling from kent .

Kealeigh Kealeigh

Im due for Jury service in July. What do I do if the only other person in my department is signed off sick due to bowl cancer treatment (Just finished Radio & Chemotherapy on tuesday 22nd May so still is in the thick of it) and is still due for major surgery to have cancer removed, then once she has recovered & healed she needs a calostomy reversed (Sorry for all extra detail - Just need to advise the extent of time she will be having off).
I work for a small heating contractor (which gives 24hr assitance) for a major housing association in London and regularly work my 9-5 then cover the out of hours phones all night from home - and although I'm not specially trained, and my job could be done by others - There is no possibility for others to do as they can't take on 2 peoples extra work ontop of their own very busy schedules. I do not like the idea of deferring within the next year as I can't guarantee how she will react with treatment and she still could be fighting the battle this time next year and as you can only defer once, my next date could come around and she still may be off. Could I get excusal?
Everywhere i've searched it seems people advise working commitments are not even a good enough excuse to be deferred, let alone excused totally.

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide


Marcela- It's part of one call to jury service so should count as such, however, obviously you'd have trouble claiming expenses such as travel on those days. If you ask permission you may be able to return to work.

Neil- That's unlucky, but should give you a very strong case to defer or be excluded

Neil Neil

Ive just been summonsed for a 4 th time having already done it 3times being self employed this can't be fair .i know lots of people who haven't done it.

marcela marcela

hi, i'd like to ask if you are atteding a jury service and the trial hasnt been continued for any reason, you have to attend again two days later,,, during your days that you are not attending , will it be paid ? many thanks

kieron kieron

I am currently on jury service and the first trial I was on finished yesterday. The court have now told me that I do not have to go in unitl Wednesday. Am I expected to back to work in the meantime?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Sinead, Hi Kate, you should both be able to get your duty deferred by applying. Euan, the employer has to grant time off for jury service, and they aren't allowed to penalise you for doing it in anyway. So the answer to your question is basically no, they can't do that.

euan hannah euan hannah

my girl friend was on juray duty last week was in work friday they asked her to do over time sat and sun but said it would be single time because she was on juray duty can they do that

Kate Kate

I've just been summoned for dates on which i will be on leave from work; i don't have a holiday booked, but i am taking time off as i have family coming over from South Africa - they are currently applying for a visa for this which hasn't yet come through - will i be able to defer service for this reason?

Sinead Sinead

Ive just been summoned and im currently 8 months pregnant and due to give birth during the time they want be to go i also have an 18month old baby who i dont have childcare for as i have no family in this country and i certianly do not feel comfortable leaving her with anyone i dont know. Surely they cant make me do it?

lacey wood lacey wood

can my husband take my place in the jury duty?????

Steve Richardson Steve Richardson

I am self employed and was recently summonsed for jury service. I applied for exemption and it was granted. I enclosed a letter with my summons reply explaining the following. I am a sole trader with no employees to carry out work my absence. Due to the specialised nature of my work (costumed historical interpreter) I would be unable to find another person to carry out work on my behalf. That I could provide documentary evidence of pre-arranged bookings and contracts that would conflict with the proposed period of jury service. That involvement in an extended trial could lead to the financial failure of my business.That due to regular bookings, by clients who book annually but vary the time of year that they require my services, I was unable to offer dates within the next 12 months when I would be available for jury service and was applying for exemption rather than deferal.Hope this helps anyone self employed.

Angharadz Angharadz

I am in remission from cancer, but still have issues such as bladder weakness - what are practical arrangement like for a juror - can I hope to have a comfort break every couple of hours?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi James,

They'd probably interpret it as refusal to partake, so it would likely be treated as a criminal offence. That said, if you were able to present viable reasons why you'd be prejudiced one way or another, you might not be selected prior to being called.

Best, UK Net Guide

James James

What would happen if I were selected and wrote back saying I didn't want to be forced to work for £30-60 a day so I have decided to predetermine that I will find the defendant innocent, regardless of how guilty I believe them to be?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Joanna, Hi Gaby,

You are unlikely to be let off based on professional complaints, however, in your case Gaby, you may be able to defer to a more suitable case based on your personal circumstances. Try writing to the central summoning bureau.

Best, UK Net Guide

joanna joanna

Hi,just want to ask for a but.of alice,can i be excluded from a jury service as being a dentist? Been told i can only defferr the service but looking at the wobfite looks different would be grateful for an anawet many thanks

Gaby Gaby

I have just been summoned as well, I work freelance for myself and therefore never know from month to month how much work i have on. Therefore I cannot take more than 2 weeks off, are the courts quite understanding about this?

Also I have been told by my friends who have done jury service I may be asked to sit in cases relating to knife crimes, which I don't feel mentally able to do, as it is a very fragile subject for me given that my friend was stabbed to death around 5 years ago, I sat in a lot of the murder trial there, and therefore having to listen to more stabbing cases, I mentally feel unable to, as it is too close to home. Would they be understanding if I rung them up beforehand and explained this?

Shelley Shelley

I recently servied on a jury for 7 days - the first 5 days I should have been at work and the last 2 days are when I should have been on holiday (from work but not actually going away anywhere) - where do I stand with holidays - does my employer have to give me back the 2 days holiday I lost?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Emilia,

Though they may be called, a non-English speaker will almost certainly not be selected to actually serve on a jury as they will probably be picked out as unsuitable during the selection.

Kind Regards,

UK Net Guide

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Seffy,

As you have a good reason, all you have to do is write to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau and ask for your service to be deferred. Any evidence you can provide will be helpful, but your case is strong so it shouldn't be a problem.

Kind Regards,

UK Net Guide

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Danny, As per the article, you can be released from jury service by showing that you have a pre booked holiday. Kind Regards, UK Net Guide

Danny Tavio Danny Tavio

I have been summoned for jury service,I am availible for the first 2 weeks but not the third as I have a pre booked holiday,where do I stand with this??????

Emilia Emilia

What if the person does not speak any English?

Seffy Seffy

Hello, i have been summined for Jury service and my elderly mum who i help take care of has just been diagnosed with a fracture in one of her vertabre (osteoperosis) and i need to be availble for her over the next few weeks, can i be excused from jury service and what do i need to do? provide evidence ?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Louise, Thanks for your comment. The point you make is definitely a big issue surrounding the subject of jury service. Therefore, we've updated the article to include full information about the caps on loss of earnings claims. All the Best UK Net Guide

Louise Louise

What you don't mention here is that while you can claim for loss of earnings, it's capped at something like £32 a day if you're there less than four hours, and £64 if you're there for more than 4. Of course, you'd probably still have to take a day off work, whether you're there for four hours or longer. And some employers, like mine, don't pay you when you're on jury service leave. I have to do it next month and even on £64 a day, I will be absolutely crippled financially. It doesn't really make you want to do your civic duty! If it goes on for longer than two weeks, I honestly don't know what I'd do.

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Paul,

Unfortunately, you'd have committed a criminal offence. If convicted you would have a record and might have to pay a fine. Jail sentences have been handed down in the past (though this is rare.)

All the Best,

UK Net Guide

Paul Paul

What happens if I refuse to attend once selected without giving ANY reason?

Andrew Mudie Andrew Mudie

Interesting if you've just been called up for jury service, although rather boring if not!

Henry Settimba Henry Settimba

Quite helpful and informative.


Leave a Comment on this Article
leave comment >
How we use cookies


We Guide, You Decide