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Jury duty on maternity leave

I received a court citation yesterday for jury duty in November. I called to see if being on maternity leave meant I was exempt and was told that no I would need to arrange paid childcare and they would reimburse me.

It's not come at a great time but I've only got 7 days to respond. I've emailed a couple nurseries to see if they do any short term placements but I've not heard anything back yet.

Also I stop get maternity pay at this point so paying a nursey will bankrupt me just before a cash strapped Christmas. 

Has anyone had any experience of this as I'm stressing out.


  • Hi there, 

    im so sorry going through this. I live in the stats, so not sure how much help I can be, but here they allow us to reschedule to a later date. Is this allowed? Ive had them reschedule mine a few months later. That might be something to look into. good luck. 

  • Not happened to me personally but go to citezens advice, they should be able to help you find appropriate childcare and how to go about getting the costs back :) 

  • Found this link but don't know how much help it is.

    Thing is, if you say you are breastfeeding, you might be able to get out of it (whether you are bfing or not!)

    Good luck though. I really think you'll be able to get out of it! 

  • Or help to get the childcate paid direct so you're not out of pocket!!

  • THanks for your responses ladies. I'm not breastfeeding so can't use that one. I've written them a letter asking to be exempt my son is only going to be 9 months and has only ever been left with my mum or mil for short periods of time so I can't imagine how he will go in a full time nursery for what could be weeks if I get selected. I've asked them also in the letter that they will need to tell me the maximum placement required and pay my child care costs up front. Even when I go back to work I'm only going back 3 days and my mum/mil have reduced their work hours to cover this but that's not until March so if I get called again I have the problem of childcare on 2 days so maybe not as bad.

    The main problem is all the unknowns as I might call the night before and told I'm not needed and by this point I could have paid out a fortune. 

    My gran passed away on Saturday so it's just a lot of added stress and pressure at a time when it's not needed but I again thank you all for responding x

  • I would contact your local MP and even a solicitor for a free consultation. Regardless of if you are breastfeeding, if you are not ready to be separated from your baby, I cannot believe the law would allow them to take your baby off you! Local MP would be my first port of call. 

    If it were me, I would agree to turn up WITH baby. 

  • Also an email to your local newspaper may mean they will take this on for you and contact the courts and get you in touch with someone who can help?

  • Thanks, I'm going to send them my begging letter today and hope for the best.

    If they still say I need to come I will try my local MP or just turn up on the day with my son.

    I was trying to think of what crime I could commit that would get me out of it as well lol

    Or I turn up on day 1 in a football top...I'm in Glasgow so rather big rivalry and id probably be excused for bias lol.

  • Oh my gosh this is bad in my opinion. I understand it's compulsory to do so but not while on maternity leave. The whole point of maternity leave is to look after ur baby not put them in full time nursery!! I'm sorry to hear about your situation it's gobsmacked me! I know I wudnt be able to afford it specially before Xmas comin! I agree with vikster wrote to local mp and newspaper, surely they wud want someone focused on the jury not a stressed worried mother who has left her baby in a nursery! Thing is you can't have your phones etc can you so you won't be able to contact the nursery to see if ok and they won't be able to contact you if they poorly etc. You certainly won't be allowed to go fetch baby out will you! It's ridiculous. These things can go on forever can't they. They stealing you of your maternity and precious time with baby. It's not like your back at work and baby is already in nursery! When do you have to do this? x so sorry x x

  • I got summoned when my 2nd child was a year old, I was breastfeeding though so I wrote and told them that and I was excused. Never been called again since (and it's been over 8 years!) which is a shame as it was something I was interested in doing, but wasn't prepared to be away from my baby for potentially a full day 5 days a week for 1 or 2 weeks when she was still BF.

  • I have just read circumstances eg. a new mother who is breastfeedIng. Why can't it just be a new mother full stop! Out of order. It's got to of been a man who wrote the rules for this. Write back say it will make you bankrupt as you will be receiving nothing. They must expect everyone to have a load of savings in the bank to bide them over x not sure about anyone else's area but a nursery by me full time costs around £175 a week! And send in extra nappies and milk etc for them x

  • I did JS last year and was allowed to reschedule once.  Mine was due to a clash with work commitments and they were fine about it.  They just say if you defer once then if you are given a new date you cannot get out of it.  I was asked to let them know any dates in the upcoming 12 months I couldnt make and then they rescheduled it. My original one was for April and I ended up doing it in June.

    it is annoying that only BF mums are exempt 😡 If you said you were BF would they check up on you??

  • I don't want to lie as it is recorded in son's medical notes that he is now on formula.

    If they don't offer me exemption I don't know what to do if I can't find childcare. I suppose I will need to evidence my attempts.

    I have a LARGE family and in law family and only two other people have ever been called. They should leave us mothers alone until our children are in school. 

    It's just so stressful. I hadn't even thought about him going into nursery and then there being a problem and being unable to contact me. I know you can be excused if your unwell and at this rate I'm making myself ill over it.

  • Oh yes I forgot it will be on his doctors notes.  You are not allowed your phones on you so you wouldn't be contactable, really not good for new mums.  I think as someone else said you should go to citizens advice if you don't get any joy with your letter to them.

    Let us know how you get on!

  • Oh, my dear. image But you can be strong and can fight!

    I insist on having a lawyer, you can find them in law journals and in some article like this one in PI Law Journal:
    But it must be paid for sure. So I suggest you to use the free legal help from government and charity organisations, like:
    My sister has got help in very hard situation from this organisation, you even can call it, that would be for free:

  • Hi ladies

    Once again I just want to thank you for all your responses.

    I sent a letter to the courts confirming I'd still be on mat leave, that my statutory mat pay would be finished and that I would need to know the maximum length of child care I would need so I could arrange but that they would need to pay in advance.

    I returned home from a couple days at my mums to find a letter to say they would grant my exemption on this occasion. 

    Who knows when I will get called again..fingers crossed it's in 5 years when my son is at school.

    Thanks again :-)

  • Oh that is good Katt, I bet you are relieved about that. 

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