In terms of legal representation, DiU members receive this in the same way as all other Unite the Union members do for employment related matters (this includes members employed by GP’s practices). A DiU member should inform their Unite District or Regional Office via their workplace representative, where they have one, to follow the process of applying for legal assistance for an employment related matter. There is a form to complete and the relevant information and evidence would need to submitted to allow us to assess what sort of legal advice is necessary.
Legal advice does not necessary mean representation and there needs to be an assessment of this to determine if the union will provide legal representation at an employment tribunal, so the correct deadlines need to be adhered to. In some cases there may not be a Unite representative in the workplace though, so support would be provided by the appropriate Regional Officer or Accredited Workplace companion.
Members should approach their Regional or District Officer if they have an employment or profession related issue which may require legal advice and the Regional Officer will be able to advise on the appropriate course of action. Individual circumstances will determine when legal advice is necessary, but as a trade union, our emphasis is to resolve matters in the workplace rather than through the courts, though we know sometimes this is necessary.
There is a qualifying period for Unite members to receive legal support for employment related matters, this is usually 30 days of membership and the matter should not predate membership. In addition, we provide support to members that face industrial and occupational injury at work. This is available to DIU and Unite the Union members from day one of membership and related to accidents at work or away from work.
For more information contact your Regional or District office on call the legal support helpline on 0800 709 007 or check out the website. For non-employment related matters (including non-employment related issues concerned with HEE and the BMA), Unite has a 24 hour legal helpline 0800 709 007 to support member on any non-employment matter. Through our legal services package, Unite members are entitled to free initial legal advice on any matter which is non-work related from a Unite solicitor. This service entitles you to receive a 30-minute phone consultation with a solicitor, free of charge. Do check out the for 24 hour non employment legal services website for this. As DiU is part of Unite the Union, members are already part of a trade union.