Can an employer claim compensation where it is inconvenienced by an employee being called up for jury service?
No. While courts can pay travel costs, subsistence allowances and allowances for loss of earnings and other financial loss to individuals who attend jury service, no payment is made to third parties such as employers. However, an employer is under no statutory obligation to pay an employee's normal salary while they are absent from work attending jury service. Any payment of wages in these circumstances is entirely a contractual matter or, if there is no contractual right to payment, at the employer's discretion.
If the employee will lose earnings while serving as a juror - because the employer is not paying the employee at all during this period or is paying only part of their normal salary - the employer must fill in a Certificate of Loss of Earnings, including a statement as to whether or not the employee may return to work on days or half-days that they are not required at court. The employee must then present this document to the court to claim a payment in respect of loss of earnings. For periods up to and including four hours in the first 10 days of jury service, the maximum loss of earnings payment is currently £32.47 per day. For periods of more than four hours in the first 10 days of jury service, the maximum loss of earnings payment is currently £64.95 per day. Jury service usually lasts two weeks; the maximum loss of earning payment increases if it lasts longer than this. The maximum earnings limits set by HM Courts and Tribunals Service mean that many employees could lose out financially by having to attend jury service. In these circumstances, the employer may wish to consider paying at least part of the employee's salary.
The employee is also entitled to claim travelling expenses in respect of the cost of the journey to and from the court and a subsistence allowance towards the cost of food and drink while at court.
If the employer has the benefit of legal expenses insurance, it should check the terms of the policy to see whether or not it could make a claim under it for its financial loss if there is a head of cover relating to jury service.