How to get free legal advice about an employment issue
- Help for everyone
- Help for disabled people
- Help for parents
- Help for people considering whistleblowing
- Help for victims of forced labour or modern slavery
- Help for people experiencing bullying, conflicts or difficult relationships at work and live in London
- Help for people going to an employment tribunal
Help for everyone
Advicelocal will help you to find organisations providing advice with problems relating to employment and work issues near you. Enter your postcode, choose employment from the drop down topic menu and search. Scroll down to the 'Where to get advice' section. This will tell you about any Citizen’s Advice, law centres, or independent advice agencies in your county. (Beware - it misses out ones near you but in another county or borough - some of which may be able to help you). If there is a service near you, look at their website or contact them to ask for an appointment.
Royal Courts of Justice Advice BureauLink opens in a new window can provide free legal advice about employment issues such as redundacy and dismissal, health and safety, and discrimination. They offer appointments over the phone or in person. Request an appointment by downloading a form for their website, completeing it and emailing it to them. They particularly want to assist anyone in low paid work.
ACAS - Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service offers free advice and guidance on rights at work and employment law. Helpline number: 0300 123 1100. Line open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm. If you are thinking of taking a claim to an employemnt tribunal they also offer 'early concilliation' - a kind of mediation that aims to help you resolve the problem with your employer without having to go to tribunal.
LawWorks supports a network of over 280 free legal advice clinics that provide initial advice to individuals on various areas of law, including employment. During the coronavirus crisis, all clinics have closed face-to-face appointments. Use their search to see if there is a clinic near you offering advice on the area of law you need help with by phone, email or digitally. In order to use the time efficiently, please see What to bring to your appointment at a LawWorks clinic (PDF).
If you are a member of a Trades Union you may have access to free or discounted legal services as part of your membership. Check your Union's website for details.
Check your motor, household contents and buildings insurance policies. You may find you have access to free legal advice on a range of subjects as part of your cover.
Help for disabled people
The Disability Law Service provides free confidential legal advice to people with disabilities and their carers about (among other things) employment law and discrimination at work,. Call: 0207 791 9800, Monday - Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm or email: email@example.com. You can also contact them via their website or leave a message when you phone and they will call or email you back. They try to get back to you in 3-5 days.
Help for parents
Working Families provides free and confidential advice to parents and carers about their employment rights including maternity and paternity leave, rights to time off in an emergency, parental leave and flexible working. They can also advise on benefits for families. You can call their Legal Helpline on 0300 012 0312 Monday - Friday 11 - 2pm (closed on bank holidays). Beware that calls are not free, but charged at the same rate as national landline calls.
Maternity Action offers advice and information to help you understand and take up your rights and entitlements throughout your pregnancy, maternity leave and return to work. Contact the Maternity Rights Advice Line on: 0808 802 0029 or if you live in London call: 0808 802 0057. Lines are open Monday - Friday 10am - 1pm (London helpline is closed on Wednesdays). If you are unable to reach them you may be able to find the answer to your query in one of their popular information sheets or try contacting them via their email advice contact form. They will aim to respond to emails within 5-10 working days. For advice about NHS charges and access to maternity care, contact the Maternity Care Access Advice Line on: 0808 800 0041. Alternatively, you can contact them via their email advice contact form. They will aim to respond to emails within 5-10 working days. Please note that they have a limit to the number of forms that can be submitted per day. Line is open Wednesday and Thursday 10am - 12 noon.
Help for people considering whistleblowing
If you are worried about something harmful or wrong-doing happening at your work and you are thinking of telling someone about it, Protect can help you. They provide free, independent and confidential legal advice. Call: 020 3117 2520 or you can fill in an online contact form. Their advice line is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays: 9:30am - 1pm, 2pm - 5:30pm; Wednesdays and Fridays: 9:30am - 1pm. Anyone in need of advice outside of those times can reach them via their contact form and they can make arrangements for call backs.
Help for victims of forced labour or modern slavery
The Modern Slavery Helpline offers callers who are potential victims help to consider their options, access crisis assistance, emotional support, help with access to social and legal services and help to connect with law enforcement agencies to get out of the situation and stay safe. If you don't speak English, they will connect you to an interpreter. Call 08000 121 700. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Help for people experiencing bullying, conflicts or difficult relationships at work and live in London
The DRAW service provides mediation on employment issues to those experiencing bullying, conflicts or difficult relationships at work and who live in London. They can help you sort out your work problems without lodging a grievance or going to tribunal, which can be stressful and potentially worsens relationships. DRAW is funded by Trust for London and run by YESS Law - a specialist employment law charity based in London. DRAW provides one day of help for free, if you require more than one day, a charge will apply at a rate dependent on the mediator - speak to them for more information about this. If you would like to use DRAW, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3701 7535.
Help for people going to an employment tribunal
Emplyment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support scheme (ELIPS) can give you free advice if your case is being heard at one of the below Employment Tribunals:
- London Central
- Midlands West
And you have either a hearing, a case management order or judicial mediation within 2 weeks of the clinic date (e.g. for the clinic on 20 August 2023, only those with hearings or case management order on or before 3 September will be eligible)
- Have the ET1, ET3, and any case management order or notice of hearing readily available.
ELIPS volunteers provide support in the form of one-off advice on the day of the clinic.
If you meet the criteria above, please email the Pro Bono Administrator at email@example.com two weeks before the date of the clinic. If there are spaces available, you will be contacted.