Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Why do you think the dismissal was unfair?
OK thank you. The issue with employment tribunals is that there is no funding for them and whilst he may get a discount on the claim fees if he is on low income, he would not get any financial assistance with legal representation. There is no legal aid for example in the tribunal procedure. Therefore, he would have to either pay for a solicitor himself and cover all costs, or proceed unrepresented. It is certainly not a legal requirement to have a solicitor to be able to make a claim and many claimants go at it alone. The good thing here is that this is an unfair dismissal claim which means it is for the employer to prove that the dismissal was for a fair reason and a fair procedure was followed. So the burden of proof is on them, not on him.
He could get indirect assistance along the way from other sources but that would be limited. For example the Citizens Advice Bureau, our site, etc. Also the tribunal would know he is an unrepresented party that is not legally trained so they would help him procedurally as and when needed.
One further option he has is to try the Free Representation Unit. They provide representation at tribunals but he needs to be referred to them to be eligible and a list of the referral agencies can be found on their site:
Whether he has a valid case to take is very difficult to say based on the basic information I have – really a formal case analysis needs to be conducted by a solicitor to determine what his prospects of success are so I will have stop short of saying whether he has a strong case or not.
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