Legal support on work-related issues

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

UNISON’s trained and experienced reps will advise and support you if you are having problems at work, and if necessary they will refer your case to the regional UNISON office or to our in house lawyers or our trade union solicitors.

When you’re covered

A member must have joined at least four weeks before the incident or occurence that leads them to seek that assistance. Subscription payments must be up to date.

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.

Where we can support

Employment problems

If you believe your employer is not acting lawfully then you need to contact your UNISON branch. The branch may refer the matter to your regional office or to UNISON’s lawyers. In general, the advice or representation will be provided by the branch or regional office.

Employment tribunal cases will be handled by our lawyers. UNISON’s in-house lawyers prioritise matters which affect most members; other employment cases will be dealt with by our appointed solicitor Thompsons.

Injuries/accidents

As a UNISON member you are entitled to free legal advice and assistance following an accident or injury at work.

To date, UNISON has won more than £511 million in compensation for members involved in work-related personal injuries and for members and their family members for non work-related personal injuries.

This includes where our members have experienced assaults, industrial diseases and accidents at work, on the way to or from work, or on union business.

Work-related criminal cases

UNISON members may also be able to get legal assistance to defend criminal charges they face arising out of their work.

Clinical negligence

We offer initial legal help for members and their families who have suffered clinical negligence. This involves a free initial assessment of the likely prospects of success from our lawyers.

Should the advice be to go ahead with a claim, UNISON is not able to fund the future costs of these cases, but our lawyers can advise on the best way to fund the claim.

How to access legal services