One of the counterintuitive impacts of the introduction of employment tribunal fees and reductions in funding to the advice sector is that FRU has ended up with quite a bit of spare volunteer capacity.
Fewer cases are being brought in the tribunal and there are fewer referral agencies (plus those that still exist have reduced resources). This means that fewer cases are reaching FRU. But our volunteer numbers are holding steady. So at the moment I have more volunteers than cases.
All of this means that, if a relatively simple employment case (basically anything listed for 2 days or less that isn’t a discrimination case) arrives with a decent amount of time before the hearing (ideally two weeks or more), there’s a very good chance I can find a volunteer to take it on. We’re extremely eager to get unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, wages or holiday pay claims in or around London.
So if you’re an existing referral agency please consider sending cases to us. The chances of us being able to help are currently very good. If you’re not a referral agency, but advise people about employment tribunals in or around London, please consider joining us. Details are available at: http://www.thefru.org.uk/referral-agencies
If you’re an individual with a case, I’m afraid FRU can’t take cases directly from members of the public. But you can find information about our referral agencies — who may be able to send your case to us — at: http://www.thefru.org.uk/get-advice/list-of-agancies
It’s important to emphasise the FRU can never guarantee to help. But I’m going to have about 20 eager volunteers arriving next week. And this sort of volunteer throughput looks to continue into 2014.