Legal support for matters which occurred outside RCN membership


RCN support

Although we cannot provide legal representation if you were not in membership at the time of the incident, we can help you in other ways.

If your financial situation changes due to your situation, an assessment from the Lamplight Support Service could help you maximise your income, check your eligibility for benefits and provide a small one-off grant for essential items (if appropriate).

Where debt is an added concern, members can be referred on to our money and debt advisers for further advice and assistance. Our advisers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for consumer credit regulated activities.

If you are feeling stressed, disappointed or upset at any point, contact the RCN’s Counselling Service. We offer short term, telephone based counselling as part of your membership.

We also have a range on online resource you can access. For example, our careers resources for members include advice on applying for jobs following dismissal if that is relevant to your situation.



Other sources of legal support

Unfortunately we cannot offer legal support or representation for issues which arose outside of your RCN membership, or recommend an external solicitor.

If you were a member of another trade union at the time of the incident you need help with, ask if they will represent you. 

It's worth checking whether your insurance policies (such as house or car insurance) include legal expenses cover.   

Your local Citizens Advice can offer free initial advice.

Advocate can help you find pro bono (free) legal assistance from volunteer barristers. To receive support from them you will need to be referred by an advice agency (Citizens Advice may be able to arrange a referral for you) or a lawyer.  

If you live in England or Wales, the Law Society's directory provides contact details of solicitors/firms in your local area. In Northern Ireland you can contact the Law Society of Northern Ireland and in Scotland the Law Society of Scotland.

The Law Centres Federation provide free legal advice and representation to disadvantaged people living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you live in Scotland, the Scottish Legal Aid Board's online calculator can help you assess whether you qualify for advice and financial assistance in a civil, criminal or children's case.

RCN member story


Get help with the emotional impact of problems at work through our dedicated counselling service for members.

Search our advice guides

See our A-Z of advice. These guides will help you answer many of your questions about work. 


Get support with personal or work related issues such as stress, depression or relationship breakdown.

Need more help?

The easiest way to get in touch with us is online available 7 days a week. We will get back to you within 24hrs. Or if you wish to Live Chat with us, you can login via our Get-help page (this service is usually available until 8pm on weekdays and until 3.30pm on weekends).

If your enquiry is urgent or you need to speak to the advice team, you can call us on 0345 772 6100, 9-5pm (weekdays) and 9-4pm (weekends).

Page last updated - 29/06/2020