A CAB Employment Policy Officer blogs a guide for MP's post the legal aid cuts
"The legal advice desert: a road map With almost all legal aid for employment advice (as well as other welfare law advice) disappearing into the mists of history this month, the House of Commons library has issued a guide for MPs on “the various options open to an individual who needs legal help or advice when there is the existence or possibility of contentious legal proceedings over an employment dispute”. With a view to helping MPs help their constituents, the guide provides “information about sources of legal advice and representation in employment law matters”, and warns that “legal advice should ideally be given by a suitably qualified person with professional liability insurance”. Indeed.
However, the guide is nine pages long, and MPs are very busy people. So, to save them valuable time, I’ve written the following condensed version of the guide, using the same headings as the House of Commons library:
Funding and employment tribunal time limits
Funding? There isn’t any. Nada. Rien. Get with the (Austerity) Programme.
Time limits? Complex. Very complex. Don’t go there.
Sources of employment rights advice
Solicitors and barristers: too expensive (unless constituent a redundant banker or derivatives trader)
Trade union: great if there is one, tough if there isn’t. And, most likely, there isn’t.
Acas: nice but dull.
Pay & Work Rights Helpline: fine if constituent’s problem is about the Minimum Wage.
Equality & Human Rights Commission: best to check it’s still there.
Local law centre: ditto (it probably isn’t).
CAB: ditto; if there is one, very good for getting food vouchers...................."