Legal Advice

Before you decide whether to take a claim, it’s a good idea to find out what claims you might have, and whether they are likely to succeed. Doing this can save a lot of stress and hard work later on. At later stages, it can be helpful to take advice, or research the law, so that you can deal with issues that arise.

A further consideration is that, although costs are rarely awarded in the Employment Tribunal, a Claimant can be ordered to pay the other side’s costs if a Judge decides that their claim has no reasonable prospect of success. Taking legal advice at an early stage can reduce the risk of that happening.

Sources of free legal advice are given below:

  • Law Works Clinics Network provide free initial advice to individuals on various areas of social welfare law, including employment law. You can find a legal advice clinic near you using their search tool.
  • Acas is an independent body funded by the government to give advice, and to conciliate between parties to claims at the Employment Tribual.   Information about employment rights can be found on their website; they have a webchat service, and an advice helpline; the number is 0300 123 1100. The helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.
  • Citizens Advice have a network of local offices which offer face-to-face and telephone advice, an online resource with a comprehensive work section, and a webchat service. All of this can be found on their website.
  • Advicenow provides information and advice on employment matters as well as information about taking a claim to the Employment Tribunal.
  • Gov.uk is a useful source of information. For instance, it has helpful calculators for holiday pay and redundancy pay and gives the current National Minimum Wage rates, and explains how to enforce your rights.
  • The TUC has a Know Your Rights page with links to further sources of advice and information.
  • The Working Families website has advice and information about employment for parents and families.
  • Some solicitors’ firms offer free initial advice, or may run a pro bono or no-win no-fee service alongside their fee-paying services.  Solicitors are listed on the  Law Society website.
  • For discrimination claims, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has information and advice, as does the Equality Advisory and Support Service, who also have a webchat service and a helpline on  0808 800 0082.
  • Legislation.gov.uk gives a full version of all UK legislation. Be very careful when using this resource that you are looking at the most up to date version of each piece of legislation, and that you are referring to the legislation for your part of the UK (eg England).
  • British and Irish Legal Information Institute is a database of case transcripts from all courts. Before searching, it is a good idea to have details of the case you are looking for (name, year, level of court or tribunal), as the database is very comprehensive and can be confusing at first.
  • FRU provides free legal representation in employment hearings for people who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford lawyers. However, they can only take cases from the referral agencies listed on their website and cannot take referrals from a member of the public.
  • Monaco Solicitors are a specialist employment law firm acting exclusively for employees. In particular, supporting and representing employees who have been badly treated a work. They have put together excellent free legal letter templates and examples for employees to use, on the following:
    • Grievance letters
    • Negotiation letters
    • Redundancy
    • Settlement agreements
    • Tribunal claims