To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils Circular No. NP/089/19
I am pleased to advise you that as promised to our Eire Branch, new contracts have been signed with Solicitors in the Republic of Ireland MJ O’Conner, resulting in new and enhanced services being provided for our members. The new services include a free Helpline, and advice and representation in Criminal and Employment matters (subject to meeting the same criteria as in England Wales and Scotland) and a Wills service to all members in the Republic of Ireland. This has been long overdue and with the signing of these Solicitors it means that this Union can now provide cover throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
ACCIDENT, INDUSTRIAL DISEASE AND C.I.C.A. CASES
Members in Scotland; Off Shore Workers and the Republic of Ireland should complete the Form L1 if they have had an accident at work, road traffic accident or street accident. The Form can be obtained either from Branch Secretaries or via the R.M.T. Helpline on 0800 376 3706. Once the form is completed, it must be returned to the Branch Secretary for endorsement and sent direct to Solicitors as set out below:-
Scotland & Offshore: Thompsons, Berkeley House, 285 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HQ. Tel: 08080 68 5529
Northern Ireland: Thompsons McClure, Victoria Chambers, 171 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 4HS
The Republic of Ireland: MJ O’Conner, Ormonde House, 26 Harbour Row, Cobh, Co. Cork. Tel +353(0)21 4813944 / Email: RMT@mjoc.ie
England and Wales: Thompsons, The Synergy Building, Campo Lane Sheffield, S1 2EL or alternatively call (no form required) on 08457 125 495, 0800 0 224 224, or www.thompsonstradeunion.law/trade-unions/rmt Please note that for members’ family members they may use the same process for accidents other than accidents at work, member should abide by the same process. The scheme does not cover family members injured at work who are not Union members.
EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL CASES
The Union will provide representation for members at Employment Tribunals for members only. Form L2 has been produced and must be completed by those applying for advice and representation at Tribunals for ALL regions. The Form is obtainable from Regional Organisers, Branch Secretaries, the R.M.T. Helpline on 0800 376 3706 or can be downloaded from the Union’s website and must be completed by the member and endorsed by the Regional Organiser. The Form must then be sent to the Legal Department Maritime House Clapham Old Town London SW4 0JW, and must be accompanied with all relevant documentation, such as statement of terms and conditions of employment/contract of employment, letter of dismissal, minutes of disciplinary hearing and appeal hearings. The Regional Offices have a check list of which documents are required. Without documents the case will not be processed and could result in the case being declined for lack of documents.
As has always been the case, representation is not automatic but will depend upon the prospects of success. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, representation will only be provided in cases that have a reasonable prospect of success. Branches will receive a copy of the letter sent to members advising if representation has been declined. The advice will not be sent as this is confidential to the member. Only appeals in accordance with Rule will be considered in cases turned down, as happens with personal injury cases. All cases are assessed for prospects of success.
For cases with a reasonable prospect of success, representation will be provided by the appropriate Union Solicitor.
In all cases, the responsibility rests with the member to submit their case to ACAS, and where requested the assistance with conciliation will be provided. This will be conducted by the Regional Organiser. It is the Union’s policy that only Regional Organisers can be utilised for conciliation and in London and the South East nominated individuals who are approved by the Union. No other person may be put forward as representatives of the Union without approval of the General Secretary. The box relating to representation should only contain the name of the nominated Regional Officer. In cases, where the member requires assistance in completing the ACAS form or Form L2, this can be obtained from the Regional Organiser.
Members should in the first instance contact the Criminal Helpline number and will be available to members, spouses/partners and children. The service will include representation at Police Stations and representation before the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court, if necessary, in relation to criminal cases. This is the service for members arrested by police /garda and questioned under caution and for general enquires related to criminal matters.
This service is provided by:
Powell Spencer in England & Wales: Tel: 020 7624 8888
Thompsons in Scotland & Off shore: 0800 0891 300 MJ O’Connor in the Republic of Ireland: 086 3866467
Representation will be provided at Police Stations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service can be accessed by phoning the above numbers.
Please note that assistance is discretionary and in all cases members are expected to apply for State Legal Aid. Should the member require assistance with the funding of their case this can be considered in relation to work related criminal matters and can only be considered upon completion of Form L3 obtainable from the Branch; the Regional Office or on line. All L3 Forms must be signed by the member and also by the Branch Secretary. In non-work criminal matters and for family members; arrangements regarding funding will be a private matter between the member and the Solicitors. Preferential discounted terms will be provided to Union members in these instances. Under Rule assistance is not provided where member is pleading Guilty to an offence unless there are exceptional circumstances to be considered.
In addition, advice and assistance in relation to criminal matters, prior to being formally charged will also be given. This will cover matters such as driving offences and other minor non imprisonable cases. This service will only apply to members in respect of work-related incidents. The members via Branch Secretaries can access assistance by completing Form L3. If members are in receipt of a Summons to appear in a Magistrates Court, this should be sent to the Legal Department Maritime House Clapham Old Town London SW4 0JW as a matter of urgency, along with other relevant details such as membership number and a daytime contact telephone number.
The Union provides advice on all advice and non-work related and Union matters for members in England & Wales and Northern Ireland the service is available on the RMT. Helpline, 0800 376 3706, Monday to Friday between 08.00 to 18:00 hours, and Saturdays 09.30 to 16:00 hours.
As the legal system is slightly different in Scotland, and Southern Ireland. Thompsons Scotland and MJ O Connor will operate a Helpline for all Scottish and Republic of Ireland members Mondays to Fridays between 09.00 and 17.00 hours. Telephone 0800 328 1014 ( Scotland) and Southern Ireland 086-3866467
Should members not be able to get through to the numbers in Ireland and Scotland then they should call the RMT helpline for assistance
All member are eligible for a free basic Will without charge to members and spouses /partners. A charge will only be made for any Will involving complex matters such as specialist life interests; discretionary trusts; care home protection; foreign property; business assets abroad; foreign business assets home or abroad and estate planning for tax purposes and anything deemed complex. Should members require specialist wills then arrangements must be made with the solicitors but in all cases special discount rates will be offered to RMT members.
In England; Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland this service is provided by BBH a subsidiary of Thompsons and is offered on line: email@example.com / Tel 0151 326 2188
In the Republic of Ireland this service is provided by MJ O’Connor. Email RMT@mjoc.ie quoting Free Will Request. Tel 086-3866467
All Solicitors will provide free matrimonial enquiries to members, should members wish to use the services of the solicitors they will be offered discounted rates for RMT members. To access Family referral call the RMT helpline on 0800 376 3706 in all instances.
In addition to all the above our Union has its own In House Legal Department which is staffed by 4 solicitors. To access the legal department you can call 0207 084 7260 should you have a problem accessing the above.
Please bring these matters to the attention of members and activists
Mick Cash General Secretary