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Jury service

This is a guide for RCN members who have been asked to undertake jury service.



If you've been selected for jury service you will receive a summons.   

Your jury summons will state when your jury service will take place.

You can request to defer your jury duty until a more convenient time. If you apply for a deferment, you can only do this once, so you must inform the courts of any other times over the next 12 months when you definitely won’t be available. They can then make arrangements for your jury service around your available dates.

As well as a deferment you can also apply to be completely excused from your jury duty. To be totally excused jury duty you have to have a very good reason, supported with evidence (such as if you have served on a jury within the previous five years).

If the court does not accept your request then you are obliged to serve as a juror. Once your jury service is confirmed, you must turn up on the agreed start date and if you fail to attend you could be fined £1,000.

See for more information.


Your employer doesn’t have to pay you unless this is specified in your contract of employment but you can claim for loss of earnings from the court.  Your employer must fill out a certificate of loss of earnings which you get with the letter confirming your jury service. Once you’ve completed jury service you should submit the certificate as part of your expenses claim.

You can be reimbursed subject to a maximum daily amount if absence from work causes you to:

  • lose earnings
  • pay a substitute to do your job 
  • incur any other necessary expense, for example, a childminder.

You are also entitled to claim travelling expenses, a subsistence allowance for food and drink and for any loss of national insurance contributions you may have incurred. If you have attended the court but not been selected, you are entitled to claim expenses subject to the specified limits. You can either claim expenses before leaving the court or send your form at a later date. See for further information. 

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, practising registered nurses have the right to be excused from jury service. You will only be excused once you have provided evidence to the court that you satisfy the conditions for exclusion.  See Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunal Service and Scottish Courts for further information.

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Page last updated - 04/03/2019