NUJ legal services

Legal Assistance is generally accessed by contacting an NUJ chapel or branch representative, NUJ representative or a union official. Legal assistance usually requires 13 consecutive weeks continuous membership of the NUJ, legal assistance will not cover matters that pre-date union membership.

The NUJ helps hundreds of members recover millions of pounds in compensation from employers and clients every year.

The NUJ has an in-house legal department that works alongside Thompsons Solicitors, one of the UK's largest and longest-established firms of employment and personal injury lawyers committed to trade union values.

Thompsons Solicitors have created a range of legal guides and resources for NUJ members.

The NUJ is able to offer a comprehensive range of legal services to its members – not just on workplace issues, but a wide range of matters affecting you and your family. As with all unions, there are restrictions, and the provision of such services is entirely at the discretion of the union.

The following services are available:

Employment law

The NUJ provides legal advice on all aspects of employment law and can provide legal support for employment tribunal claims on issues such as:

  • contracts;
  • dismissal;
  • redundancy;
  • notice;
  • discrimination;
  • equal pay;
  • bullying and harassment;
  • stress at work;
  • data protection;
  • working time;
  • transfer of undertakings;
  • maternity leave/parental leave;
  • flexible working;
  • whistle-blowing;
  • restrictive covenants; and
  • compromise or settlement agreements.

The union can also provide support on collective employment issues such as:

  • industrial action
  • trade union recognition;
  • consultation on collective redundancies;
  • transfers;
  • health and safety; and
  • changes to terms and conditions of employment.

NUJ officials and local union representatives often achieve fantastic results on behalf of members through negotiations with the employer.

Members can log in to see more information.


Copyright and intellectual property

The NUJ provides a free advice service to members who have problems in this area.

Members can log in to see more information.


Free consultation

Members can take advantage of our free 30-minute legal consultation concerning matters that do not relate to employment.

Members can log in to see more information.


Injury and accidents at work

Members are covered for all work-related personal injuries, including accidents and disease.

Members can log in to see more information.


Injury and accidents outside of work (Personal injury claims)

Members and their close families are covered for accidents that happen outside the workplace, including:

  • road traffic accidents
  • accidents in the street
  • accidents while on holiday

If you have suffered an accident or injury in the past three years, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Thompsons directly on 0800 0224 224 or go to Personal Injury Claims.

Work-related crime

The NUJ provides support for members through Thompsons criminal law unit.

Members can log in to see more information.


Media law

The NUJ can provide advice and representation on issues such as protection of sources, production order applications and seizure of materials/equipment and restricted reporting orders.

Asylum and immigration

Asylum and immigration advice can also be provided for members.

Members can log in to see more information.


Conveyancing – buying or selling a property

Thompsons Solicitors offer a competitive, fixed fee service to NUJ members.

Members can log in to see more information.


Wills and probate

The union, in association with Thompsons solicitors and BBH Legal, is now able to offer members a free on-line will writing service for simple wills.

If the will is more complex, please note this service remains chargeable at a reduced rate to members and their families.

Members can log in to see more information.


Emergency advice when covering major events

Although it cannot make arrangements for all eventualities, the NUJ does try to anticipate the possible needs of members for legal assistance when covering some major scheduled news events as professional journalists. For instance, covering major sporting events, civil unrest and demonstrations special hotline and other facilities to help members who encounter difficulties may be set up.

Your branch or chapel should let us know as much in advance as possible if you need emergency arrangements to be put in place.

NUJ advice on covering protests

In these exceptionally volatile circumstances, in which protests can be expected to continue, in Bristol and elsewhere, the NUJ has issued additional ...

29 March 2021
Advice for NUJ members reporting on protests

Some tips for working this weekend and the emergency legal helpline number

12 June 2020


Small claims

New rules came into force on 31 May with the supposed aim of tackling a ‘whiplash’ culture, making it much more difficult for many road traffic accident (RTA) victims to get free legal support – but NUJ members and their families will continue to be able to access legal help.

The changes, coming out of the Civil Liability Act 2018, sees the small claims limit for RTA’s increase by 500 per cent from £1,000 to £5,000. The only exceptions are for ‘vulnerable road users’ - pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, children and protected parties.

The government and insurers have used an alleged culture of fraudulent and unnecessary motor claims to justify the changes; we doubt they will do anything to combat fraud but they are due to save insurers £1.3 billion a year.  The government says that it expects the insurers to pass those savings onto policy holders in the form of premium reductions, but it has not made that a legal requirement, will not even be looking at savings until 2024 and has no clear sanction if the savings are never passed on at all.

What are small claims?

Since 1999, a claim valued above £1,000 has seen any legal fees for a lawyer being paid by the person responsible for the injury; a principle known as the ‘polluter pays’.

By increasing the small claims limit to £5,000 for anyone injured in a road accident who isn’t a ‘vulnerable road user’, tens of thousands of people injured through no fault of their own in a RTA will have to pay legal fees if they want a lawyer to help them or face fighting an insurance company on their own in their own time.  And first they’ll have to get their heads round a 64-page guide to the newly established Official Injury Claim portal. 

The changes will severely restrict access to justice for at least 80 per cent of road accident victims and clog up courts that are already dealing with a COVID-related backlog.

How the NUJ is helping you

We have campaigned alongside the union’s lawyers Thompsons Solicitors against these changes and whilst there have been concessions and considerable delay, now the changes are in we are determined that any NUJ member – or a member of their family – injured on the roads  will have legal cover provided through the union. Rather than being left on your own to fight the insurers, you will have trusted union lawyers to help you through the legal process.

Note: support remains subject to review by the union and in accordance with the terms of our legal assistance policy.