(This doesn't affect me personally but is something that came up which I'm curious about. I'm not sure what to tag it with)

Could an employer ask "me" to change my hours for that week so that I'd do the jury duty in the normal court hours and an "evening shift" instead of my normal work hours? (6-midnight instead of 8-4 or whatever)

Assuming there's a contract that says something like Hours are 8-4 or as otherwise required.

Possible reasons: unexpected issues in live systems, "crunch time", someone on a production line called in sick, minimum number of staff to patients needed in a care home, or such like.

Would regulations on max number of hours "worked" (in a week or per "shift") include time spent on a jury?

Actually, if you normally work evenings/nights how would that work with a "day" of jury duty?

Edit: I know there are laws that the employer has to let you do the jury duty, but that doesn't take into account "unexpected" needs of the employer that weren't known when you receive the summons.

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    If you have to do jury duty during the day, it doesn't seem realistic that you'd come in to do a 6-midnight shift. If you normally work nights, the situation is the same but just with a different time. The jury duty may cut into your sleeping time, so you'll have to sleep afterwards (and thus can't realistically come in to work and be productive). – Brandin Mar 8 '16 at 13:29
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    without knowing which country you're talking about, it's impossible to know. – user29055 Mar 8 '16 at 13:38

In the US this depends on company policy. Some companies only give you time off for the conflicting hours, and tell you to request the minor daily stipend the government offers to partly reimburse you for your time. Some pay the difference between that stipend and your normal salary. Others offer other arrangements.

For a reliable answer you really have to ask your own HR department, not us.

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Depends what country you are in, but if you are in the UK you can contact the Jury Central Summoning Bureau.

The Jury Central Summoning Bureau can:

  • give advice about your summons or jury service

  • arrange a visit to the court for you, eg if you’re disabled and want to see the facilities

Jury Central Summoning Bureau


Telephone: 0300 456 1024

Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm

Friday 9am to 3pm

Source: Gov.UK

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In virtually every country in the world that uses juries, employers are obliged to give you time off for jury duty. Time off means time off - it does not mean working at a different time. While your company could ask you to come in after your jury duty hours for an emergency, they couldn't compel you. And any hours you worked on those days would be additional hours of work, just like if you had booked a vacation and then came to work, you would be expected to be paid extra for those hours. Also remember that once you assigned to a case there are restrictions on what you can do and who you can interact with as a juror. Your court will give you details.

Most countries also allow you to be excused jury duty if your absence would seriously affect your employer, for example if there was important work scheduled that only you could do. This would have to be asked for in advance. It would be up to the judge to decide if your specific circumstances warranted excusing. However once you are assigned to a case, it is very unlikely that you would be excused for anything other than a genuine serious emergency, as your absence might mean a retrial, with the huge expense that involves.

In my personal opinion, some of the cases you describe are a bit thin. It would be hard to believe that you were the only person who could fill in for a sick colleague. You might want to ask the company what they would do in these circumstances if you were completely unavailable, such as being out of the country, and why they couldn't take that action in this case?

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  • Out of curiousity - aren't there only a handful of countries that even have the concept of "jury duty"? The first sentence sounds like it's very common, but a search on Wikipedia lists only 3 countries that use it. – Erik Mar 8 '16 at 14:14
  • It certainly exists in UK, US, Australia, New Zealand. Which Wikipedia reference are you looking at? – DJClayworth Mar 8 '16 at 14:19
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_duty which does not list New Zealand, but that's still only 4 countries. – Erik Mar 8 '16 at 14:20
  • Made a slight edit to clarify. – DJClayworth Mar 8 '16 at 14:20
  • @Erik: While the jury system may not be very widespread, many countries have "lay judges". Legal details differ, but the practical problems around missing work are the same, as lay judges are usually selected for a single trial. – sleske Mar 8 '16 at 15:14

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