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12 Angry Tradesmen

Troy Stevens 12 November 2020

Now I don’t know about you, but the thought of being chosen to attend Jury Duty seems like an exciting prospect. Knowing that you have been chosen to make a difference in a court case as an independent juror inspires images of court room dramas and detective shows. The question is, if you are a self-employed tradesman, how exactly does being called for Jury Service affect you? We look a little deeper at the realities of Jury Duty for the self-employed.

What is Jury Duty?

Jury Service, or Jury Duty as it’s often referred to, is when a member of the public is chosen to serve as an independent juror in a court case. The court case a juror is chosen to attend can range from the serious to mundane but is always a case involving someone who is charged with an illegal act that is taken to court for analysis and judgement.

How does Jury Duty Work?

If by chance you are chosen for jury service, you will receive an official ‘summons’ via post, and you are then required to respond within a week to confirm your attendance. How you are chosen is at random via the records held by the electoral register.

If you are called for Jury Duty, then you will be part of a 12-person panel of jurors, and you will all be tasked with helping decide the outcome of the case that you are appointed on.

Jury Service commonly lasts up to 10 working days but can be shorter or longer depending on the case. Being a juror is essentially a 9-5 undertaking, so realistically, you will not be able to work when you are attending Jury Service.

jury duty

How does this effect the Self-Employed?

If you are self-employed and rely on contracts in order to get paid, then taking a couple of weeks out of the month to attend Jury Duty will have a severe financial impact on your earnings. There are some expenses that can be claimed if you are self-employed and attending Jury Service, but these are not comparable to a tradesperson’s income.

What Can I Claim if I’m Self-Employed?

The Government has published guidance on this, but in brief, for tradespeople attending Jury Duty, you can claim back the following if you experience a loss of earnings as a result:

You can claim up to the following per day in court:

  • £64.95 (this covers loss of earnings)
  • £5.71 (this covers subsistence)
  • Travel expenses to and from court

What Can Tradesmen Do to Protect their Earnings?

We at Rhino Trade Insurance understand that being able to work is paramount in being able to earn, therefore include cover for loss of earnings from Jury Service as part of our Commercial Legal Expenses Insurance.

Our Legal Expenses Insurance policy provides £50,000 cover for any UK business for just £77.28 per annum, that’s less than £6.50 per month! The Legal Expenses insurance covers a range of common legal disputes that tradesmen face, and specifically provides up to £100 per day to cover Jury Duty.

If you are interested in hearing more about our Commercial Legal Expenses insurance then please feel free to call us on 01162437904, emailing on info@rhinotradeinsurance.com or by visiting our website.

Just a quick side note before you go, if you haven’t already done so – please watch 1957’s 12 Angry Men. I was once forced to watch it once by an ex-girlfriend (it is in black and white and everything!) and I’ve never been more pleasantly surprised by how good a film can be. It has an audience score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, that’s better than Die Hard, Terminator 2 AND Star Wars!


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