Jury service and witness policy

  1. Introduction and scope
  2. Jury Service
  3. Attending court as a witness
  4. Support and wellbeing

Further information for staff:

1. Introduction and scope

A member of staff may be required to take time off from work to carry out civic duties such as jury service or to act as a witness in court.

The University will take all reasonable measures to accommodate this absence and makes provisions to reduce any risk of financial hardship as well as provide options for emotional support where appropriate.

This policy sets out entitlements for staff who are summoned to attend court as a Juror or as a Witness. This includes;

This policy applies to all members of staff at the University of Bristol who receive a summons from the court to attend jury service or to act as a witness.

2. Jury service

How staff will be paid

Jury service typically lasts 10 working days, though it can last longer. The member of staff will be able to claim expenses through the court for food, travel and loss of earnings.

Receiving pay during Jury service

Whilst employers are not obligated to pay members of staff during jury service, the University will ensure that the member of staff is not at any financial loss. This is achieved by making up the shortfall between the member of staff’s claimable “loss of earnings” through the court, and their full salary.

As all expenses are reclaimed through the court retrospectively, members of staff will continue to receive their usual salary for the duration of the jury service to avoid any financial hardship.

Adjustments to pay after Jury service

Once the member of staff has received their reimbursement from the court, the University will retrospectively deduct this same amount from their salary. It is the member of staff’s duty to notify Payroll of any loss of earnings compensation received from the courts.

Arrangements for time away from work

Agreeing and deferring Jury service

Granting time off for jury service should be accommodated where possible.

Under exceptional circumstances, Jury service can be deferred for legitimate reasons set out in the government guidance. This includes where the University deems the proposed time off would result in a serious impact on the business.

Under such circumstances, this will need to be put in writing from the manager for the member of staff to provide as evidence to the court.

It should be noted that Jury service can only be deferred once.

Changes during Jury service

Where dates and times required in court change from the original arrangements, both the member of staff and manager should apply flexibility.

Where a member of staff attends Jury service but is dismissed from their duties part way through the day, they are expected to return to work for the remainder of the day. Where travel arrangements make this difficult, this should be discussed between the member of staff and the line manager.

Annual leave and University closure days

Where Jury service has been agreed during a period of planned annual leave, the member of staff can reschedule their annual leave following the usual annual leave request process. 

Where Jury service falls on a University closure day, the member of staff will be entitled to add this day to their bookable leave entitlement to use at another time.

Bank Holiday's will remain unaffected as it is unlikely staff will be required in court on these days. 

Further information

Please refer to www.gov.uk/jury-service for further details on arrangements with the court.

Detailed guidance on the steps a staff member should take if summoned for Jury service can be found on the Jury service process for staff.

3. Attending court as a witness

Where a member of staff is required to attend court as a witness, they will need to inform their manager as soon as possible in order to accommodate the request and arrange cover. They should provide details of the dates and duration they will be required in court.

Members of staff will receive their normal full pay from the University during the time they are required in court for these duties. 

4. Support and wellbeing

Attending Jury service or acting as a witness in court can be an emotionally challenging experience. Members and staff are encouraged to talk with their line managers about any difficulties they may be experiencing so further support can be offered. Staff can also access the staff counselling service directly and confidentially and find other useful resources on our staff wellbeing site


This policy was last reviewed and updated in May 2024