Legal services

UNISON provides quality legal services for employment-related and non-work issues at no extra cost to members and their family. We provide the broadest range of legal help to union members in the UK.

Access to Legal Assistance

We have streamlined processes during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist members access assistance.

Personal Injury Assistance

  • If you have suffered injury from COVID-19 due to your work, or in the tragic circumstances that you have lost someone in your family, who is a UNISON member, as a result of them contracting COVID-19 due to their work.
  • If you are seeking personal injury advice following a work accident/injury or having suffered from any other type of industrial disease
  • If you need advice in relation to a non-work-related accident/injury suffered by you or your family.

If you’ve lost someone who is a UNISON member to COVID-19, please also see the factsheets below on Life Assurance, produced with Thompsons Solicitors:

England & Wales COVID-19 Life Assurance Scheme Factsheet

Scotland COVID-19 Life Assurance Scheme Factsheet

Northern Ireland COVID-19 Life Assurance SchemeFactsheet

For all these claims, call UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857.

When you call please have your UNISON membership number to hand. You can find this at the bottom of any emails we’ve sent you.

Workplace Exposure COVID-19 Questionnaire

Complete the survey on the Thompsons website if you or your colleagues contracted COVID-19 as a result of your work

Your information is crucial. It will help us to campaign, improve health and safety, and give the best support and legal advice we can to our members.

Complete the survey

Employment Assistance

Issues related to your work and employment law assistance should in the first instance continue to be directed to your branch.

COVID-19 legal guidance

Furlough, Annual Leave, Sickness and Redundancies Q&A

Return to work Q and A

Free wills

UNISON operates an initial free online wills service for members for standard wills and partners if drawing up a mirror will.

Access our free wills service

For all other legal queries

  • if our members want criminal law advice or to access our initial free legal advice scheme;
  • or if they/their families want legal help with complex wills and conveyancing

Call 0800 0 857 857. 

It is important to note our Legal Assistance scheme is subject to terms and conditions, for further information on the scope of that scheme and eligibility please refer to our Legal Services Guide.


What cover do my family and I receive?

As a UNISON member, you receive free legal advice and assistance for:

  • Employment law (accessed via your UNISON branch or regional office)
  • Personal injury – at or away from work, on holiday or on the roads
  • Serious injury at work – including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries
  • Industrial disease or illness
  • Basic will writing and reduced rates for more complex wills and conveyancing
  • Defending work related criminal allegations
  • Free initial legal advice on any non-work issue. This service entitles you to receive up to 30-minutes of telephone advice. This must relate to you personally and not a family member.  The scheme does not cover general financial advice.

UNISON members’ families are covered for:

  • Personal injury – away from work, on holiday or on the roads
  • Reduced rates for wills and conveyancing

And if you or a loved one think you have been injured as the result of clinical negligence, we can support you with free initial advice from UNISON’s lawyers.

Exclusions and qualifying periods apply

When you’re covered

A member must have joined at least four weeks before the incident or occurrence that leads them to seek that assistance. Subscription payments must be up to date. You must continue to be a UNISON member while your case is ongoing.

It is important that you contact the union
 as soon as possible as legal rights often have time limits. For example, a claim for unfair dismissal must be lodged within three months (less one day) of the date of dismissal.

All legal support is granted at the discretion of the union’s national executive council.

Essential legal services from UNISON

If you have been injured at work or a loved one has been injured outside of work you can claim with confidence using the UNISON legal service in partnership with Thompsons Solicitors.

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Legal support on work-related issues

UNISON members can get free legal advice and assistance with work-related issues through our legal assistance scheme.

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Legal helpline for reps

A legal helpline is available for accredited UNISON stewards and lay officers who need urgent preliminary legal advice on employment matters. If the matter is not urgent, please contact your regional office as normal to get a referral for legal advice.

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Legal support on non-work related issues

UNISON members can access free initial legal advice on non-work related issues, along with support for members and their family members for personal injury cases outside work, a free wills service, low-cost conveyancing service.

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Access to legal services

For employment issues contact your local branch. For all other issues call 0800 0 857 857.

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