POA Circulars

46 | 07.04.2017

APPLYING FOR INITIAL LEGAL ADVICE

It has been drawn to the Executives attention that more and more applications for legal advice are being submitted late, out of time and without the correct forms, as a result members are losing out on the opportunity to seek legal redress.

EMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

Any application for initial legal advice must be submitted as soon as possible and the appropriate forms from the Legal Advice Handbook completed, this includes the LA 100, Employment Law Form, the Employment Tribunal Fees Loan Agreement Form and any supporting documents.

In the vast majority of employment claims members are required to complete a grievance. Members must not await the outcome of the grievance before applying for legal advice. The grievance does not extend the normal time limits of three months less a day from the last act complained of.

Another issue that has come to light recently is members accepting Pay In lieu of Notice PILON when dismissed and then not applying for legal advice until after the appeal. If a member accepts PILON that is their last day of service and they only have three months less a day to register any claim.

In all employment claims the POA Legal Handbook makes it clear that claims must be submitted in a timely manner no later than two months after the last act or the claim may be rejected by the LAC.

PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS (PI)

All PI claims must be reported directly to the unions Solicitors Thompsons. All claims should be reported as soon as possible, but no later than two years and six months after the accident or diagnosis of the illness.

Members simply need to ring 0800 587 7515 and provide details over the phone of the incident. Thompsons will take down the details and refer this to a Solicitor, who will contact the member to seek further information to support the claim.

SELF-INFLICTED DEATHS

All self-inflicted deaths must be reported to the POA Legal Department no matter what the circumstance, the LA 490 must be completed identifying all members involved. Unfortunately, more and more deaths are occurring and not being reported to the POA Legal Department.

It is the responsibility of the local Committee to report all deaths as soon as possible. Once the form is received the POA open up a file with Thompsons and monitor the investigations by the PPO. If further action is required Thompsons will contact the members and the Branch to ensure their interests are protected.

In most cases GLD represent members because there is no conflict of evidence, in circumstances where no conflict exists it is in member’s interest to allow GLD to represent members.

Occasionally Thompsons identify potential conflict and this needs to be actioned as quickly as possible. Following all deaths there is an inquest and more and more internal and external investigations are now taking place. If local Committee’s advise the POA Legal Department of members involved, we can act quickly to support members who are required to provide evidence to the PPO, Police or Management.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS

If a member is required to attend a Police Station to give a statement under caution, the pro-forma from the Legal Advice Handbook should be completed and sent to the POA Legal Department at Cronin House as soon as possible. We will arrange for legal representation. The Solicitor appointed on your behalf will attempt to persuade the Police to deal with any interview on a voluntary basis.

If a member is arrested the Custody Sergeant should be asked to contact Thompsons Solicitors to represent them during the Police interview. The Police can contact Thompsons via the Duty Solicitor Call Centre. If, for any reason, Thompsons cannot be contacted, you should seek the services of a duty Solicitor. It is important that you have a Solicitor in attendance at an interview under caution even if you have done nothing wrong.

If members do use the duty Solicitor, they must advise the Legal Department of the allegation and date of next hearing/attendance so that Thompsons can take over the case. This is in the interest of the member.

In out of office hours’ cases where members can’t inform the Legal Department at Cronin House on 0208 803 0255 members should contact Thompsons direct if they need a Solicitor on 0800 587 7530.

Please draw the contents of this circular to all member’s attention and post it on local notice boards.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation

Yours sincerely

STEVE GILLAN
General Secretary