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Tips for talking to your employer about becoming a magistrate

Are you considering becoming a magistrate and need help approaching the conversation with your employer? Read our top tips.

If you’re thinking about applying to become a magistrate, speaking to your employer early in the process is a good idea. During the discussion, it would help to share how you would balance the commitment and the benefits it would bring to your workplace. Helpfully, there are several advantages for you to highlight! 

Here are three top tips to guide you through the conversation:  

  1. Emphasise transferable skills: Becoming a magistrate is a fantastic opportunity to develop transferable skills such as critical analysis, sound judgement and complex problem-solving. Explain how valuable these skills will be for you and the organisation.   
  2. Share your passion for the role and justice: Working as a magistrate is a rewarding and effective way to serve your community, so explain why this is important to you. There may also be other motivating factors for your desire to become a representative of your community, so include these reasons in your discussion as well.    
  3. Explain how you will balance both responsibilities: Many magistrates balance employment and judicial duties, so discuss with your employer how you will achieve this. You may wish to mention that magistrates volunteer for a minimum of 13 days a year, with sittings organised via the magistrates’ rota twice a year. The advance notice gives plenty of time to plan and agree on the time off.   

It is worth noting that if you become a magistrate, your employer is legally obliged to give you time off to carry out your duties.   

Many employers allow staff to take some paid leave to complete magistrate duties. However, if this isn’t possible (or you are self-employed), you may be able to claim an allowance from the court for loss of earnings. 

Need more information on answers to questions your employer may have? Download this handy leaflet ready to share with them about the magistracy and register your interest in becoming a magistrate today.