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Legal assistance

NUJ legal services

One of the many benefits of being an NUJ member is its legal services that are available free to members of the union in the UK and Ireland. The union can also provide advice for members working outside the UK and Ireland.

Legal Assistance is generally accessed by contacting an NUJ chapel or branch representative or a union official. Legal assistance usually requires 13 consecutive weeks continuous membership of the NUJ and the 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.

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.

Read the NUJ policy on legal assistance (members only).

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:

  • 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. You should contact your local NUJ representative or full-time official in the first instance if you are experiencing difficulties in the workplace. Where it has not been possible to resolve the issue industrially, your official can refer the matter to our legal department.

Copyright and intellectual property

The NUJ provides a free advice service to members who have problems in this area. To access this service, you should contact your full-time official in the first instance.

Free consultation

Members can take advantage of our free 30-minute legal consultation concerning matters that do not relate to employment. If you require this service, contact your full-time official, branch or chapel or email a completed copy of the free legal advice scheme form to the Legal Department - legal@nuj.org.uk.

Injury and accidents at work

Members are covered for all work-related personal injuries, including accidents and disease. You should contact your full-time official in the first instance. Fill in the personal injury referral form to help speed up the process.

Injury and accidents outside of work

Both 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 587 7528 (Landline) or 800 587 7528 (Mobile)

Work-related crime

The NUJ provides support for members through Thompsons criminal law unit. Thompsons operate a 24-hour emergency number for work-related criminal matters, phone 0800 587 7530

Do not ring this number unless you have a genuine emergency.

All other referrals should be made through your full-time official.

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.

Conveyancing – buying or selling a property

Thompsons Solicitors offer a competitive, fixed fee service to NUJ members. For a quote and to speak to BBH Legal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thompsons Solicitors LLP, call 0800 587 7528 (Landline) or 800 587 7528 (Mobile) or email conveyancing@thompsons.law.co.uk.

Wills and probate

Please call 0800 587 7528 (Landline) or 800 587 7528 (Mobile) for a competitive, reduced-fee quote from BBH.

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, at the London 2012 Olympics, the union arranged a special hotline and other facilities to help members who encountered difficulties.

The union has also supported members covering events such as civil unrest and demonstrations. 

Examples include: G20 summit 2009; UK civil unrest 2011; EDL march Rochdale 2012; NATO summit 2014.

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