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Employment Advice and Assistance

Advice and assistance to do with employment relations for MU members.

Last updated: 20 January 2021

Why you might need the Employment Advice & Assistance

If you are offered a contract of employment, or a contract that requires you to provide personal service, we will arrange for a specialist employment lawyer to review it and provide you with appropriate advice on the contract.

An employment lawyer will also provide you with practical advice and guidance should you wish to negotiate better terms with your employer.

If you are offered a music business contract rather than an employment contract, such as a publishing agreement or recording contract, you may find our Contract Advisory Service useful.

How to make an Employment Advice & Assistance request

You will need to return a signed Employment Related Legal Advice & Assistance Request form to your regional office. Without this, the MU cannot advise or take any further action on your case.

You can either download the form and return it via post or email, or get in contact with your Regional Office and request that one is sent to you.

You will also be asked to submit a detailed written chronology of the main events in relation to your case and copies of any relevant documentation such as the contract of employment (or other written agreement) and any relevant correspondence/emails between you and the employer/organisation you work with.

Please only send copies to us by post or email and retain the originals yourself in a safe place. These documents will assist us in giving you the best possible advice.

A signed Request Form also ensures that the Union has your explicit General Data Protection Regulation consent to disclose your trade union membership before any third party is contacted on your behalf.

Please rest assured contact would only be made on your behalf with your authorisation and your sign-off as to what would be discussed with your employer.

What happens next

Initially your case will be allocated to an Official.

It should be noted that Officials are not solicitors –but will have detailed employment law, industrial relations and contract knowledge and experience to advise on your case and can access a legal opinion where necessary. They can also provide trade union representation at meetings with your employer.

Once your case has been allocated to an appropriate union Official, they will make contact with you to discuss your case and check our understanding of the advice and support sought.

Throughout the process you will have one continuous Official as your point of contact. If your allocated union official is not available, they will return your call as soon as is practicable, although this may not be the same day.

After the initial contact with your allocated union Official, you will keep in touch via telephone and email as your case progresses. It is your responsibility to forward to your representative any further correspondence and documentation from your employer without unnecessary delay.

Only in urgent circumstances, or where a union Official is likely to be unavailable for an extended period, will it be appropriate for the intervention of another union official in the conduct of your case.

Taking the case further

There may be a need for your allocated Official to confer with the Union’s retained firm of specialist employment law solicitors in order to obtain a legal opinion or ongoing legal advice on your case. If further union funding of ongoing advice is needed then the union’s Legal Panel approval is required. The request for approval will be sought by your allocated Official.

Settling your case

The Union expects you to consider any reasonable settlement proposal put forward if it is to continue assisting with, and particularly financing, your litigation. Pursuing a claim through to trial can become disproportionately expensive compared to the value of the claim and extremely demanding of Officials’ or indeed solicitors’ time.

The aim of the Scheme is to conduct litigation on a cost-effective basis with a view to early resolution of the dispute in line with the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, and hopefully, in line with your reasonable expectations.

Further support

It is common for members experiencing a difficult working environment to be suffering from very high levels of stress, anxiety or depression.

There are a number of sources of counselling support that we recommend, and we advise members in need to seek such support through their case:

Read further details on the MU’s Employment Advice & Assistance, including confidentiality, complaints and situations where legal representation may be withdrawn.

Need to talk to us?

Contact your Regional office