Are there limits on how long after serving on jury duty I can make a loss of earnings claim?
I was serving on a jury from 17th to 21st of February this year. During that time I was (and still am) employed full time.
The rules as I understand them are that my employer can choose whether to pay me in full or in part or not at all for the time I spend on jury duty. If I have any loss of earnings then I may make a claim to the court.
https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/coming-to-court/jurors/expenses-for-jury-service gives the explanation, which I quote below for convenience
Loss of earnings
For the period you serve as a juror, you are entitled to claim if:
- Your employer does not pay you; or
- You suffer financial loss - for example, you are self employed and have to pay someone to substitute for you while you are away.
You can claim the actual amount you have lost on the basis of net earnings (after tax and national insurance have been deducted).
If you are self employed Inland Revenue rules mean that this will be based on your gross earnings and you will be responsible for declaring the money you get along with your business’s other income.
In both cases the amounts you can claim are subject to the following limits: - 4 hours or less - £32.47 - More than 4 hours (for the period from day 1 up to day 5) - £64.95 - Whole day rate (for the period from day 6 up to day 100) - £129.91 - Whole day rate (for each day following 100 days) - £230
To claim loss of earnings
You should first ask your employer to fill in and stamp the certificate of loss of earnings/benefit form. If your employer does not have an official stamp, another piece of evidence will be required before payment can be made (for example headed notepaper or an invoice). You should then bring the certified form to court when you attend for jury service, preferably on the first day.
You may be able to claim for financial loss as a result of your jury service through your home or personal insurance. If you are self employed, it may be that your policy will cover the cost of hiring someone to run your business for you while you are attending for jury service. You should read your policy carefully to see if you are entitled to claim. It may be that this information can be found in a Legal Costs or Legal Protection section of your policy. Please read your policy carefully as different policies can have different terms.
If you are self employed, you will need to provide evidence of your earnings, such as an Inland Revenue self assessment tax return or certified accounts for the previous year to support your claim. Without the certificate of loss of earnings being completed and the required evidence being produced, payment cannot be made.
I asked my employer before I started jury duty if they would be paying me in full or if I would need to make a claim. I passed the claim form to the head of HR and they simply told me to "leave it with me"
My salary at the end of February was paid in full as normal, exactly the same amount I am usually paid. I approached HR and asked for confirmation that they intended to pay me in full for the time I was absent from the workplace. I was told verbally that there was no policy and they were still considering the situation.
I have chased this matter twice in the following month, as I am concerned I may find myself in the situation that at some arbitrary point in the future HR will decide that they will not pay me for those days and will simply take it out of that month's salary, whichever month that may be, and it will be too late for me to make any claim to the court.
So my question is this, is there a limit on how long after serving on jury duty I can make a loss of earnings claim? After this time what happens? Can I consider myself safe that my employer cannot then decide that they did not intend to pay me for those days?