Legal Services

UNISON provides a very wide range of legal help to union members across the UK. We offer advice and assistance with work issues of course, but we can sometimes also offer legal help for members and their families outside work.

To be eligible for our legal assistance scheme, you must have been a member for at least four weeks prior to the incident that led you to seek that assistance.  Download ‘A members guide to Unison legal services’

You must also be up to date with your subscriptions.  Legal help is provided at the discretion of the union’s national executive council.

UNISON members can get free legal advice and assistance with work-related issues through our legal assistance scheme (provided they have been a member for at least four weeks before the incident or occurrence that led them to seek that assistance. Subscription payments must be up to date and all legal support is granted at the discretion of the union’s national executive council.)

Employment problems  –  We will provide help to members who have difficulties at work.  If you want employment advice, first contact your 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  –  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.

If you have been injured at work, call UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857.

Work-related criminal cases – Contact UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857 (Monday to Friday 6am-12 midnight, Saturday 9am-4pm).  Outside those hours, in an emergency call the UNISON 24-hour criminal helpline free on 0800 587 7530.

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.

Access to legal services –  For work-related issues members should contact their local branch (email  in the first instance.  For non work-related issues, help can be accessed via UNISON’s legal helpline on 0800 0 857 857.