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Jury service - director loss of earnings

What can be claimed - jury service

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My client is the sole director/shareholder of her company, but she has employees.  The company sells goods.

She is on jury service and has been asked to fill in a claim form.  it states:

For jurors who are company directors, ...."I certify that I normally earn £ gross per dayand that I have lost/will lose that amount each day."

As she has employees who will cover for her, in terms of processing orders while she is away, whilst I have no doubt she will come back to an admin nightmare on her return, I suspect there may be little or no drop in turnover, so can we claim anything?  Or should we just put in a claim for her daily salary (which is quite low) and then not pay her from the company for these days?

Obviously don't want to claim if it is not allowed but the wording is very vague.

Replies (18)

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David Winch
By David Winch
02nd Mar 2020 15:18

I suggest the company do not pay her salary & she claims for that.
Also warn her (if she has not already started) that there is likely to be a lot of hanging around & a good book to read would be sensible!
She may be asked initially to attend for two weeks & - if a big trial comes up - she will most likely have an opportunity to decline a longer commitment (a few trials go on for months).
Enjoy!
David

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By waldron
02nd Mar 2020 15:38

I was involved in a 4 week double murder trial recently. They based the claim on the salary from myco for 18/19 (my last tax return at the time) and ignored any dividends from myco.

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Replying to waldron:
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By snickersinatwix
02nd Mar 2020 15:53

sounds awful - I hope it wasn't too distressing.

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Replying to snickersinatwix:
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By Mr_awol
02nd Mar 2020 17:24

snickersinatwix wrote:

sounds awful - I hope it wasn't too distressing.

The trial, or losing a month's wages (less £719 of course)?

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Replying to snickersinatwix:
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By waldron
02nd Mar 2020 21:05

It wasn't on my bucket list and I wouldn't want to do it again.

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Replying to waldron:
RLI
By lionofludesch
02nd Mar 2020 16:03

That's the Government. They want a service but they don't want to pay for it.

Don't know where I've heard that before ...........

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By thevaliant
02nd Mar 2020 16:11

To be fair, its one of the things I consider a duty.
We could do away with jury trials. Just have the judge (or judges) decide. The clue is in the name afterall.

I don't think they want a service. We, as a society have decided this is the best way forward. It's a duty (like voting).

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Replying to thevaliant:
RLI
By lionofludesch
02nd Mar 2020 17:08

I didn't decide that. Nor do I recall being asked.

I'd rather not be asked to pass an opinion on something I know nothing about. Somebody's future is at stake in the court room.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
David Winch
By David Winch
02nd Mar 2020 17:35

lionofludesch wrote:

I'd rather not be asked to pass an opinion on something I know nothing about. Somebody's future is at stake in the court room.


The idea of a jury is that they know nothing about the case they are asked to decide - except the evidence, counsel's submissions and the judge's summing up which they hear in court.
If all of them (or at least 10 of them), having heard the evidence, are "sure" of the same verdict then that is their verdict.
If not, then there may be a re-trial.
David
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Replying to davidwinch:
RLI
By lionofludesch
02nd Mar 2020 18:04

davidwinch wrote:

The idea of a jury is that they know nothing about the case they are asked to decide - except the evidence, counsel's submissions and the judge's summing up which they hear in court.
If all of them (or at least 10 of them), having heard the evidence, are "sure" of the same verdict then that is their verdict.
If not, then there may be a re-trial.
David

Very laudable. Doubtless there's the occasional "no-smoke-without-fire" juror. Maybe more than occasional.

It's a flawed system.

If you want jurors, what's wrong with professionally trained jurors who know the rules of the game ? The law shouldn't be about getting justice as cheaply as it can.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
David Winch
By David Winch
02nd Mar 2020 19:52

lionofludesch wrote:

If you want jurors, what's wrong with professionally trained jurors who know the rules of the game ? The law shouldn't be about getting justice as cheaply as it can.


Those do exist in some other jurisdictions but there is a danger that they could quickly become rather cynical about defendants!
David
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Replying to davidwinch:
RLI
By lionofludesch
02nd Mar 2020 21:23

I don't advocate rank amateurs acting as accountants. It would be hypocritical of me to advocate rank amateurs as jurors.

And that's setting aside the risk of any bias, conscious or otherwise, that these amateurs may hold.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By Duggimon
04th Mar 2020 10:21

If we let them vote we can let them be on a jury.

I agree with you though, we shouldn't let most people do either.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Jdopus
03rd Mar 2020 14:44

Give The Wasps by Aristophanes a read if you want some insight into the potential problems of a paid Jury service. It apparently came with its own set of problems.

No perfect system, alas.

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By Roland195
03rd Mar 2020 15:34

Some of the research done on jurors is frightening albeit mostly from the US - if you are lucky, it will just be that they don't understand what they are supposed to do.

More to the point though, I tend to view these matters for company director's on a low salary remuneration package as being one of the potential costs of the NI free earnings.

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By gemmalambshead
04th Mar 2020 10:41

Jury service must be difficult for company directors of small businesses where the company director is the main fee earner.
The company/small business still has to pay business rent, software charges, professional subscriptions, telephone, business utility bills etc whilst being on jury service and not able to earn any money for the business.
It doesn't appear that any of this is factored in.

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Replying to gemmalambshead:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Mar 2020 11:24

gemmalambshead wrote:

Jury service must be difficult for company directors of small businesses where the company director is the main fee earner.
The company/small business still has to pay business rent, software charges, professional subscriptions, telephone, business utility bills etc whilst being on jury service and not able to earn any money for the business.
It doesn't appear that any of this is factored in.

The Government is not really bothered about ordinary folk.

Except at election time, obviously.

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By Brian Gooch
04th Mar 2020 11:01

Going back to the original question, even if there was a drop in turnover of the company that would not give her any entitlement to claim anything. That would be a loss to her employer, not her personally. Her loss is her salary, if the company don't pay her, as per David's initial response.

I don't think employers are entitled to any sort of compensation, although if it would be significant she could consider whether it constitutes a reason to be excused from jury service (I don't know what constitutes a valid reason, just that it is possible to be excused in certain circumstances)

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