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Magistrate Expenses Policy

Expenses you are entitled to as a magistrate

Volunteering as a magistrate is a fantastic opportunity to give back to your community. But like all voluntary roles, you will not be paid for your time. However, we appreciate that you can face costs when sitting as a magistrate. So, you will be compensated for certain financial losses resulting from your magistrate duties.

As a magistrate, you can claim for:

  • Loss of earnings from undertaking your magistrate duties, if your employer does not already give you paid time off to sit as a magistrate
  • Expenses resulting from travelling to sit as a magistrate
  • Food or drink you buy, and the cost of any overnight accommodation you require to sit as a magistrate
  • Other expenses for example, any printing costs, postage, or telephone calls you must make as part of your magistrate duties

You will need to provide evidence that the financial loss is a direct result of undertaking your magistrate duties.

What you need to know about allowances

Financial loss

If you’re appointed as a magistrate, you will be expected to sit for 13 days a year as well as undertake training. Although some employers do allow staff to take some paid leave to complete magistrate duties, this isn’t always possible. In these cases, sitting magistrates can claim a financial loss allowance. You can claim this allowance whether you are employed, self-employed, or on a zero-hours contract. Please note that the rates for both employed and self-employed magistrates are maximum figures. As such, they may not always fully compensate your loss of earnings.

Allowance typeAllowance rate from 1 April 2021
Gross rate(Self-employed magistrates)
Up to 4 hours£67.48
Over 4 hours£134.96
Net rate(Other magistrates)
Up to 4 hours£53.98
Over 4 hours£107.97

Carer costs

If you have children or dependants to look after, you can claim the cost of employing a carer, so you can undertake your magistrate duties. This is only available if you specifically employ a carer to enable you to sit as a magistrate.

Mileage allowance

Whether you drive, cycle or take public transport, you can claim for travel expense resulting from your magistrate duties. The rates that you can claim for mileage are set by HM Revenue & Customs.

Vehicle typeReimbursement rate per mile
Cars and vans (including hybrid and
Passenger payment5p


You can claim for food or refreshments that you purchase while you’re sitting in court. In the unlikely event that you must stay overnight to sit, you can also claim subsistence. These rates cover the cost of both accommodation and food together.

Allowance typeAllowance rate
Night subsistence: Outside London£100
Night subsistence: Within London£120
Day Subsistence: 4 to 8 hours absence£7.45
Day subsistence: 8 to 12 hours absence£10.38
Day subsistence: Over 12 hours absence£19.60

Submission and evidence

You will be required to provide evidence for all expenses claims you make. A dedicated expenses team will work with you to ensure you submit the right evidence, and answer any queries you might have. You will also receive further guidance on claiming expenses when you are appointed.