Coroners' FAQs


Where can I find information about the remit of the Joint Negotiating Committee for Coroners?

Read the Joint Negotiating Committee for Coroners consolidation document. Please note that as of March 2018 this document is under review.

Where can I find current rates of pay for whole-time and part-time and assistant coroners?

A new national pay framework and guidance on local determination of pay within that framework were agreed in December 2017 and January 2018. Please see circulars 61 and 62

Is there a link between coroner and local authority chief officer pay?

Historically, the Joint Negotiating Committee for Coroners (JNC) periodically adjusted coroners' salaries in recognition of the drift between coroner and chief officer pay. This arrangement ceased as a result of the December 2017 pay framework.

Are coroners paid London weighting and fringe area allowances?

Coroners should receive these allowances at the rate and under the conditions applied to Local Government Services employees. The type of allowance payable should be determined by the principal place of business for each coroner. Whole-time coroners should receive the appropriate allowance in full; part-time coroners should receive the appropriate allowance on a pro-rata basis.

The current Local Government Services allowances, payable from 1 April 2017 are:

Inner London Weighting of £3,473, payable to:

  • Camden
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Lambeth
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster.

Outer London Weighting of £1,848, payable to:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Barnet
  • Bexley
  • Brent
  • Bromley
  • Croydon
  • Ealing
  • Enfield
  • Greenwich
  • Haringey
  • Harrow
  • Havering
  • Hillingdon
  • Hounslow
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Lewisham
  • Merton
  • Newham
  • Redbridge
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Sutton
  • Waltham Forest.

Inner Fringe allowance of £840, payable to:

  • Slough (Berkshire)
  • South Buckinghamshire
  • Epping Forest (Essex)
  • Broxbourne
  • Hertsmere
  • Three Rivers
  • Watford (Hertfordshire)
  • Dartford (Kent)
  • Elmbridge
  • Epsom and Ewell
  • Reigate and Banstead
  • Spelthorne (Surrey).

Outer Fringe allowance of £585, payable to:

  • Bracknell
  • Windsor
  • Maidenhead (Berkshire)
  • Chiltern (Buckinghamshire)
  • Basildon
  • Brentwood
  • Harlow
  • Thurrock (Essex)
  • Dacorum
  • East Herts
  • St Albans
  • Welwyn
  • Hatfield (Hertfordshire)
  • Sevenoaks (Kent)
  • Guildford
  • Mole Valley
  • Runnymede
  • Surrey Heath
  • Tandridge
  • Waverley
  • Woking (surrey)
  • Crawley (West Sussex).

What are the arrangements for the costs of employing a deputy?

The new pay framework agreement does not explicitly refer to deputy coroners. However where a deputy has been appointed under the terms of the previous JNC agreement, the position on pay and allowances remains unchanged unless subsequently amended at local level.
 
The provisions of the previous JNC agreement are set out below.

For full time coroners whose jurisdictions have a caseload in excess of 3,000 a year, there is a payment provision for a deputy, with the payment to be based on a proportion of the caseload. The proportions are calculated by taking 80 per cent of 11.5 per cent of annual caseload. The resulting figure attracts the same cash sum as a part-time coroner with a similar caseload. For those jurisdictions with a caseload of less than 3,000 a year, the provision for the payment of a deputy should be on the same basis as that for a deputy to a part-time coroner.

Where a part time coroner incurs costs in employing a deputy the local authority, following receipt of an itemised claim from the coroner, should reimburse the actual costs up to a maximum in any calendar year of 11.5 per cent of the coroner's salary and 'county loading' – excluding high inquest weighting, long inquest payments, pension supplement and office expenses allowance.

What are county loadings?

Historically, county loading was created to recompense part-time senior coroners with large districts for time spent travelling. An example would be when a coroner whose district encompassed a number of different venues, he/she would have to travel a considerable distance in order to cover their area. In some authorities existing salaries include an additional percentage payment of at least 10 per cent of the standard salary, to cover this. The precise amount is determined locally between the local authority and the coroner concerned. Note that this arrangement will end at the point that a local review of pay in line with circulars 61 and 62 has been carried out and implemented.

What payment is made to part-time coroners with an exceptionally high inquest caseload?

Historically, an annual weighting element has been payable to part-time senior coroners in whose jurisdiction special circumstances exist which contribute towards an exceptionally high inquest caseload – for example, where more than 25 per cent of the total caseload consists of inquest cases. The supplement is calculated as follows:

Annual salary x (actual percentage of inquest cases – 25)/100

Note that this arrangement will end at the point that a local review of pay in line with circulars 61 and 62 has been carried out and implemented.

What payment is made to a part-time coroner undertaking a long inquest?

In addition, a part-time senior coroner who undertakes long inquests – inquests lasting more than a day – should be paid at an hourly rate for the first 50 hours spent in court – beyond the first day – in any twelve-month period, starting on 1 April annually. It is for the paying authority to agree what constitutes reasonable preparation time. Where, in any 12-month period, a part-time coroner spends more than 50 hours in court – beyond the first day – and/or more than 100 hours in preparing for such inquests, the rate of remuneration shall be at a daily rate based on the maximum of the whole-time coroners' pay scale divided by 250.

Note that this arrangement will end at the point that a local review of pay in line with circulars 61 and 62 has been carried out and implemented.

How is the pay of a part-time coroner with a caseload in excess of 2,000 cases a year calculated?

Historically, the JNC did not provide pay rates above 2,000 cases which, in normal circumstances, is expected to be the maximum for part-time coroners. However, where such circumstances do occur Management Side advice had consistently been that the calculation of pay should follow the principle of that between a caseload of 1,900 and 2,000. This arrangement will fall as part of the local review carried out in line with Circulars 61 and 62.

What should appointing authorities be paying towards the coroners' pension?

In 1978 a coroners' circular was issued which informed authorities that 5.5 per cent  would be paid to coroners to reflect the change from a non-contributory pension to a contributory one. Circular no 8 refers – This circular is not published on our website. Here is a brief extract which refers to the 5.5 per cent:

"The JNC has agreed that a taxable, superannuable salary supplement of 5.5 per cent of the total taxable income earned in the capacity of coroner should be paid to all whole-time and part-time coroners joining the Local Government Superannuation Scheme* with effect from the date of entry into the scheme."

Note that this arrangement will end at the point that a local review of pay in line with circulars 61 and 62 has been carried out and implemented. That arrangement includes subsuming the 5.5 per cent allowance.  Any additional allowance agreed locally will not automatically get subsumed at that point.

* Local Government Superannuation Scheme is now known as the Local Government Pension Scheme.

If you have further queries please address them to coroners.queries@local.gov.uk