Jury Service: Do You Need to Pay Your Employees?
Jury service is compulsory in the UK, and if one of your employees is called to serve, then you are obliged to give them time off work.
But what a lot of employers ask, is “do I need to pay my employees for jury service?” – the short answer is no; you are not obliged to pay your employees during their jury service, and the court will cover certain costs to a degree. However, before you go and tell payroll to stop Dave’s salary while he’s away, there are a few things you might want to consider.
Employees Can’t Always Claim Their Full Salary from the Court
Although jurors can claim several expenses from the court, the amount they are entitled to is not always equal to the amount they would have earned if they had continued working.
For example, let’s say an employee of yours is called for jury service, and spends 4 hours a day at court, for 10 days. The maximum amount he or she can claim through loss of earnings, is just £32.47 a day. Now, if travelling to and from the court means that he or she has to take the full day off work, then their maximum daily earnings suddenly drop below minimum wage for most full-time adults.
Remember, your employees do not choose to be chosen for jury service, and are obliged to fulfil the request. Stopping salaries during jury service is legal… but is it fair?
Most Companies Pay for Jury Service Anyway
According to research by Churchill Home Insurance, only 5% of employers don’t actually pay employees for attending jury service.
If you can afford to lose an employee for a few days on full salary, then I’d always say just go for it – it’s a very decent move on your part, and will help your employee to keep stress levels under control during what is normally a very stressful time. Imagine having to get back up to speed with your job, as well as having to fill out all of your expense claims forms (that might not even cover your normal salary) – not to mention dealing with whatever disturbing incident may have been brought up in court.
Another way to do it, could be to sit down with your employee and work out how much they are going to be entitled to claim from the court – if it is less than what they would have earned by working, then keep their payments going.
Would You Stop Your Own Payments?
Imagine you were a wealthy CEO (maybe you are!). Let’s say you were called to jury service yourself, and had to take several days off work. Would you stop your own salary in exchange for a potential maximum of £32.47 a day?
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