The name of the department shall be called the LEGAL DEPARTMENT of THE INDEPENDENT WORKERS’ UNION OF GREAT BRITAIN (IWGB) (herein after called the Union)
The Legal Department shall be at the registered offices of the Union:
12-20 Baron Street
The principal aims and objects of the Legal Department shall be to:
All money received on account of awards, contributions, funding from the Union and funding from any other sources shall be properly applied in carrying out the objects of the Legal Department.
All client (1) monies (2) are transferred intact into a Client Account. Deductions are subsequently made according to IWGB Legal Department policy and client consent. Then the remainder will be transferred to the client’s bank account as soon as reasonably practicable. The Client Account should be reconciled once per month.
(1) Client in this context refers to members for whom the IWGB is conducting representation. (2) Monies in this context refers to money won in court, tribunal or via out-of-court settlement. For the avoidance of doubt monies in this context does not refer to membership dues or other monies unrelated to legal representation
Tribunal Cases Referred by Branches to the Legal Department (Passed August 2015)
IWGB Legal Department Charges (Introduced: July 2015. Updated on 26 February, 2018 with most recent changes to come into effect on 1 March, 2018.)
Entitlement to Legal Department Services (Passed on 9 March, 2018): For any member who joins the union on or after 10 March, 2018, they will not be entitled to Legal Department services for matters which pre-date their joining the union.
Day to day management (Formally introduced on 19 March, 2018): IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Legal Department and shall have authority to take decisions on behalf of the Legal Department regarding all cases.
The Legal Department may only affiliate to such other bodies as may be decided by the LDSC.
This Constitution shall remain in force until such further notice, and no amendments shall be made except by a unanimous vote of the members of the LDSC.
Introduced: 24.04.2017. Updated: 18.09.2017. Updated again on 30 January, 2018
IWGB believes that no one should have to endure abusive or unpleasant treatment in the workplace.
IWGB employees, officials and volunteers are no exception and we are committed to uphold best practice in how our staff, volunteers and lay officials (referred to in this policy as ‘staff’) are treated.
We understand that people can become angry in situations of stress or when they feel that matters about which they feel strongly are not being dealt with as they wish. Notwithstanding, members should treat staff with respect and behave appropriately in interactions with them. If anger escalates into aggression towards our staff, or if staff experience untoward and inappropriate behaviour of any other nature (such as unwanted sexual advances) we consider that unacceptable and reserve the right to withdraw casework or other practical support. Aggressive or inappropriate behaviour includes language (whether verbal or written) that may cause staff to feel intimidated, afraid, threatened or abused and may include threats, verbal abuse, derogatory remarks and rudeness, as well as physical displays such as shouting and physically intimidating or insulting gestures. We also consider inflammatory statements, remarks of a discriminatory nature and unsubstantiated allegations to be abusive behaviour. Aggression or abuse directed towards our staff will not be tolerated. The following policy outlines steps that will be taken if Legal Department staff believe they have experienced incidences of behaviour that contravenes IWGB’s standards.
Any incident of inappropriate or rude behaviour towards IWGB staff will be reported by the staff to one of the Legal Officers (or, in their absence, to the General Secretary or their nominee).
The Legal Officer will try to resolve the matter informally. If they agree the behaviour was unacceptable s/he will make this clear and warn the member that any repeat of inappropriate behaviour will result in support/representation being withdrawn for the current case.
If the member behaves rudely or inappropriately again, the Legal Officer shall have the authority to withdraw casework representation and close the member’s case. This applies to the current case only and does not preclude the member from requesting assistance in future.
S/he will then report the matter to the Legal Department Sub-Committee (LDSC), which may or may not decide to take further action. The member will be informed.
There is no right of appeal to this decision as members agree to abide by this policy in accessing IWGB’s services. However, a member may make use of the Legal Department complaints procedure if they believe the policy has been misapplied.
If the behaviour in the first instance is so grievous as to warrant a special response, the Legal Officer may at their discretion withdraw casework/representation for the current case immediately. In these instances the matter must also be reported to the LDSC immediately and the LDSC will review it and make a decision regarding next steps.
The Legal Officer may request the LDSC to review any particular case, if the behaviour is particularly grievous.
For any cases in which the General Secretary or their nominee is acting as rep for a member, they shall fulfill the role of the Legal Officer.
For the avoidance of doubt, the power of the Legal Officer to act in these cases is restricted to withdrawing services for the particular case for which the member is currently being represented. Only the LDSC has the power to bar the member from making use of Legal Department services indefinitely. Only the IWGB Executive Committee has the power to expel a member from the union.
In accessing support from the Legal Department, members are deemed to have accepted this policy, which is made available on IWGB’s public website and reproduced on side 1 of the Legal Department’s Contribution Agreement.
Introduced: 18.09.2017, updated: 18.09.2017
IWGB is a not-for-profit member organisation with limited resources. Through the Legal Department we strive to offer our members professional support with employment- or workplace-related cases. Each individual case is important to us and we put a great deal of our resources into each case.
Case work is a collaboration between the member and the Legal Department and communication is vital to running a case effectively.
Legal Department staff have to meet certain standards in terms of keeping members informed and making sure they understand what is being done on their behalf. Likewise, members have a responsibility to treat their own case seriously. Members using the Legal Department must make sure they keep the Legal Department informed of any changes in their situation and inform the Legal Department in advance if they will not be contactable for a period of time (for example due to holiday). Failure to maintain contact may result in the case being closed, in accordance with the steps outlined below.
We understand that there may be many reasons why a member may not wish to pursue a case, and no case will be taken forward without the member’s approval. However, members must inform the Legal Department if they no longer wish to pursue their case so that the Legal Department is not wasting resources that could be used to support other members.
Procedures that will be followed in terms of contact are:
Members who believe there are exceptional circumstances in their case should contact the Legal Department Subcommittee (LDSC) outlining the reasons why they were out of contact and may be asked to provide evidence to support their claim. The LDSC will have the final decision over whether or not to reinstate Legal Department support.