The True Cost of Free Employment Law Advice
A few cases recently have led me to consider the real cost of free Employment Law advice.
At LincsLaw, we speak to all our clients and discuss whether their matter is something we can help with. We make no charge for this initial advice as we don’t want anyone to spend their money unless we believe we can help. However, we are always clear that free advice over the telephone is never a substitute for a proper assessment of a client’s situation. Further, without that proper assessment potential claims and compensation can be missed.
A recent matter has really emphasised the above for me. My client had been dismissed by his employer after working for them for 18 months. He began ACAS Early Conciliation and was offered a few hundred pounds to settle his claim. ACAS told him that this was a good deal. They stated that as he did not have two years’ employment, he would not be able to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal in any event.
He telephoned to ask me what I thought of the offer. His friend had been a client of mine and had badgered him to contact me before agreeing anything through ACAS. During our discussion, I became concerned that all was not as it seemed and we agreed to meet for a Fixed Fee Consultation. During our meeting I took a full history of the situation, reviewed all the paperwork from his employer and assessed his claims. What became clear was that the reason my client had been dismissed was connected to a number of issues he had raised about health and safety at his workplace.
I explained that his circumstances would not require him to work for his employer for two years in order to submit an Employment Tribunal claim. I also commented that I believed his claim had real prospects of success and that he should not accept the offer his employers had made through ACAS Early Conciliation.
I issued an Employment Tribunal claim on behalf of my client. Swiftly after the claim, my client’s employers began to make significantly increased offers. In the event, my client accepted a financial package equivalent to a year’s salary.
He explained that he had started the ACAS Early Conciliation process because it was free. He had been worried about instructing a solicitor because he thought it would be expensive. He fully appreciated how much it would have cost him had he accepted the offer ACAS recommended and that the free employment law advice he received could have been very expensive.
If you are thinking of an Employment Tribunal claim or perhaps your employer has made an offer to you through the ACAS Early Conciliation process, call 01522 539501 to discuss your situation. For more information about LincsLaw solicitors including what we do and how we do it, please visit our website at lincslaw.co.uk.