Legal Advice and Assistance
The ISU is able to assist members with legal advice for both work and non work related issues. A summary of the services available can be found below.
The ISU provides extensive training to branch officers and personal caseworkers who are available to provide initial advice and to help members in their locations. There is also a national casework team of highly skilled and experienced caseworkers who travel more widely and provide assistance in more serious cases. All training complies with the provisions of the Compensation Act 2006 which seeks to protect individuals from inaccurate advice, especially as it relates to the possibility of legal claims. As long as members are fully paid up at the appropriate rate and were members when the incident occurred this representation is freely available and unlimited.
Representation at law, usually the Employment Tribunal system for employment claims, is also available; although in order to qualify for assistance the claim must have a reasonable prospect of success. In the last year alone the ISU has brought claims on behalf of members for unlawful deduction from pay, discrimination, unfair dismissal, working time regulations, flexible working claims, breach of contract and many more. Our success rate is extremely high, recovering compensation in the vast majority of cases.
Formal written advice is also available on all employment law matters. This can help members to determine the best course of action in what is often a difficult situation. Both written advice and representation at law are obtainable through the National Litigation Manager.
Legal Advice on Arrest
If you are arrested for any reason you should make use of the duty Solicitor service. They are available 24/7. The ISU does not provide legal advice or representation in criminal matters. However if you are arrested as a result of your participation in a work activity which has led to death or serious injury requiring referral to the IPCC the department has agreed following negotiation with the ISU that independent legal advice will be provided to you at their expense. Further information can be obtained from the National Litigation Manager.
Free Legal Advice
Initial legal advice on any topic at all is available to members free of charge through Simpson Millar LLP. This is a phone line service with a dedicated ISU line on 0808 129 3316. Depending on the nature of the advice sought a solicitor may need to ring you back, but advice on any topic can be sought and provided.
Personal Injury Claims
Arising from the free legal advice line Simpson Millar do offer a personal injury claims service to ISU members with a qualifying claim on a “no win no fee” basis. Simpson Millar are very successful in this type of work and a large number of ISU members have benefitted from their expertise in recent years. Sadly both Scotland and Northern Ireland prohibit “No win no fee” type claims and so this service is not available in those locations. However the optional additional Group Assurance scheme will provide free legal cover for those areas.
Free Will Service
The ISU does still offer a free will service, again through Simpson Millar. The scope of this is somewhat limited now as changes in law mean that a free will service can only be offered where there is no liability for inheritance tax. This is not the case for the vast majority of members. Again Scotland and Northern Ireland have laws which prohibit free will schemes altogether; these services would be covered by the Group Assurance Scheme.
Conveyancing, Clinical negligence, Family law etc.
Simpson Millar offer a discounted rate of their normal fees to ISU members on a wide range of legal services. For full details please contact either ISU HQ or Lucy Moreton.