Jury Service for PA Employers and PAs

Jury service is an important public duty. The role of the jury is to reach a verdict in a court case, having heard and considered the facts according to the evidence and the instructions given by the judge.

Jurors are selected at random from the electoral register and can be cited for criminal trials or for civil cases.

How does Jury Service affect PA Employers and PAs?

It is possible that both a PA Employer and a PA could be called up for Jury Service. If your name is on the Electoral Register, there is a chance you could be called up.

Anyone called for Jury Service will be expected to attend the Court, unless there is a good reason why you can’t. It is not a question of whether you want to serve in a Jury or not, this is a requirement for anyone selected (unless you meet one of the reasons outlined below, such as you’re over the age of 70).

If you are a PA Employer, you may need support to attend the Court if you are called up and you might want your PA to support you with this. If your PA is called up, you may need to arrange replacement care and support, either from another PA if you have one, or from a agency.

As a PA, you may need to take time off work to undertake Jury Service and you will need to inform your employer about this. Although you are not paid for attending jury service, you can claim expenses including for loss of earnings. You can find out more about what you can claim, and how, in the Resource ‘Expenses for Jury Service’ at the bottom of this page.

It is important for both PA Employers and PAs to be aware of a number of issues when called up for Jury Service, including what the rules are, and how you can request to be excused from Jury Service.

How will you know if you’ve been called for Jury Service?

If you’re selected for Jury Service, you’ll receive a Summons about 10 days before the first day you’re due in court. You must respond to your Jury Summons within 7 days of getting it.

The Jury Summons tells you the court, date and time at which you have to be there.

You can either:

  • reply to the Jury Summons online
  • complete and return the form by post.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you do not return the form or do not turn up for your Jury Service.

The Summons letter will also give you further instructions about what to do next.

Eligibility and excusal from Jury service

If you would like to apply for excusal from Jury service, you should review the information provided in the ‘Guide to Eligibility and Excusal’ in the Resources below.

The guide sets out who is entitled to request to be excused from Jury service, as this is possible in certain, specific circumstances. If you wish to apply for excusal on the basis of ill-health or physical disability, then you must enclose a medical certificate along with your application for excusal. This can normally be obtained free of charge from your GP.

You can also apply for excusal due to another special reason, for example:

  • commitments at work
  • holiday plans which would be difficult or expensive to rearrange
  • you’re over 70 years old.

If you wish to apply for excusal, you should provide evidence to support your request, for example a holiday booking confirmation or letter from your employer. Applications for excusals are dealt with sympathetically by the courts, however, it must be understood that in some circumstances, the court may not be able to excuse individuals.

PAs will need to ask their PA employer for a letter if they wish to request to be excused from Jury service due to commitments at work.

Medical certificates

If you need to request a medical certificate from your GP, you cannot be asked to pay for this. You should therefore tell the GP surgery why you are asking for the certificate, ie. for excusal from jury service.


If you are a disabled person, or have accessibility or support requirements, please contact the court when you get your Summons letter to discuss what arrangements can be made for you.

In most courthouses there will also be access for those with mobility impairments. Courtrooms generally are sound-enhanced and some have an Induction Loop fitted for the benefit of those with hearing difficulties.

Next steps

You can find a range of guides to Jury service in the resources below.

Part of
Last Updated
28 May 2024
First Published
26 January 2023
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.