Frequently Asked Questions:
Time off Work & Expenses For Attendance At Court
Does my employer have to give me time off to attend court?
Section 34 of the Employment Protection Ordinance 1989 states an employer shall permit time off work for:
- A witness (any court)
- Juror (any court)
- Parent or guardian of a defendant who is a youth
In relation to witnesses or jurors the person must be summoned to attend.
In relation to a defendant or parent/guardian of a youth defendant they must be summoned or otherwise required to attend, eg bailed.
The legislation does not provide that this will be paid time off.
Your employer may have a policy about leave and entitlement to pay for attendance at court.
Can I claim expenses?
The Administration of Justice (Payments to Jurors and Witnesses) Rules 2016 makes provision for jurors and witnesses to claim expenses for their attendance at court.
The Rules do not allow for the payment of expenses for those employed by the Crown (which includes the Falkland Islands Government).
Who can claim witnesses expenses?
- Applies to both prosecution and defence witnesses, both professional and non-professional.
- If attending in the capacity of a police employee, special constable, fulltime-prison officer, inmate cannot claim.
When can a claim be made?
- Applies when a witness attends to give evidence, whether the witness gives evidence or not.
- It does not apply if the witness attends and then refuses to give evidence.
Who is a claim made to?
- A claim is made to the ‘appropriate officer’ which is either the Attorney General, or any member of the Attorney General’s or Court Service’s staff as may be designated.
- All costs and expenses arising out of the requirements of these rules must be paid out of moneys authorised to be deducted from the Consolidated Fund by the Legislative Assembly and held and administered by the Court Service.
- So, in practice all claims made to the court?
How is a claim made?
- The person dealing with the claim must be satisfied the person is entitlement before authorising payment.
- Is there a claim form in existence? The court has one for jury expenses which could be adapted.
What and how much can be claimed?
- The scales and rates are determined by the Attorney General with consent of the Financial Secretary and must be published in the Gazette.
- Below from 28 April 2016:
Loss of earnings
For loss of earnings, you must show that you have suffered a financial loss eg your employer did not pay you because you are a casual worker or if self-employed someone was actually employed to substitute whilst you were away. These are not the only examples and any loss you have actually suffered will be considered by the Court but you should provide evidence to support your claim. Your actual costs will be reimbursed up to the maximums set out below.
The court will require you to provide a certificate of loss of earnings which must be signed by your employer.
During the first ten days attendance:
(a) of up to four hours £40
(b) over four hours £80
Day eleven onwards:
(a) of up to four hours £60
(b) over four hours £120
Food and drink
Daily rate - up to 5 hours - £5
Daily rate - over 5 hours - £15
You may also claim this if you are the primary carer for a child or dependent adult and you have to pay for alternative care because of your attendance at court.
Public transport including air travel (standard/economy class travel only at cost).
Motorcycle or car 40 pence per mile (where more than one person travels together only the driver may claim).
Taxis (may only be claimed with the prior permission of the court). If permission is given the actual fare without gratuity will be paid. A receipt must be produced.