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Magistrates' expenses

Magistrates are unpaid volunteer members of the judiciary. However, they can claim allowances for certain expenses.

It is expected that magistrates will commit to a minimum of 26 half-day sittings in court each year. Expenses can cover certain costs, including travel and subsistence where required.

The law requires employers to grant magistrates sufficient time off work to enable them to fulfil their magisterial duties. Please check the Employment Rights Act to make sure you know your rights.

Magistrates who suffer a loss of earnings as a result of their duties can claim a loss allowance, usually at a set rate. Magistrates must provide evidence of financial loss must before making a claim.

Our employing a magistrate page explains your rights in the workplace to take time off to sit as a magistrate.

Rates of allowance for financial loss, travel and subsistence vary depending on your circumstances, for example whether you are self-employed or how you travel.

Making a submission and providing evidence

You can claim your expenses through the expenses portal on eJudiciary (you will need your judicial email to log in). You will need to provide expenses for most expenses claims you make. The will be on hand to assist with your claim should you need it, and their contact details are on the expenses portal.

They will also be in touch if your claim is rejected for any reason.


To find out how much you could claim, see the maximum figures for different allowances. These allowance rates are correct as of August 2023.

Financial loss allowance

Self-employed magistrates (gross rate)

  • Up to four hours: £67.48
  • Over four hours: £134.96

Other magistrates (net rate)

  • Up to four hours: £53.98
  • Over four hours: £107.97

Motor vehicle allowance

Reimbursement rate per mile

  • Cars and vans (including hybrid and electric): 45p
  • Motorcycles: 24p
  • Bicycles: 20p
  • Passenger payment: 5p

These rates are the approved tax-free mileage rates set by HM Revenue and Customs.

The car and van rate applies for the first 10,000 miles in a financial year. Any miles thereafter are reimbursed at 25p per mile.

Subsistence allowances

  • Night subsistence (outside London): £100
  • Night subsistence (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