Legal aid

As JHL’s member you can receive legal aid. However, this is a last resort when trying to resolve disputes at the workplace. Attempts should always first be made to resolve the issue through negotiation.

If your own efforts to resolve the dispute at the workplace do not bring results, help is available from your workplace shop steward, chief shop steward and your own local branch. If needed, they can get help from the union’s regional office and legal unit.

Sometimes problems at the workplace cannot be solved through local negotiations. As JHL’s member you then have the option to seek legal aid from the union.

Please note that the benefit is only for members of the union. Read more and join JHL today!

Disputes are handled according to JHL’s representation of interests chain.

Before you seek legal aid

  • Try to sort out disputes first with your supervisor or the employer’s representative managing the issue.
  • If this is not successful, ask your shop steward or chief shop steward to negotiate in the matter.
  • If your employer will not agree on the matter in accordance with the law and agreements, the shop steward will contact JHL’s regional office to consider follow-up measures.
  • Preparations for seeking legal aid can be started if the employer will not, even after the above-mentioned reviews and negotiations, correct the errors, even when it is clear that the employer has acted in breach of laws or agreements.

Legal aid can only be sought after negotiations concerning the dispute have been held at the workplace and no local solution has been found.

Do not seek out legal aid on your own; the shop steward or local branch needs to be involved.

Legal aid – for whom and from where

JHL members who meet the conditions for membership have the opportunity to receive legal aid in matters related to an employment relationship or public office and those related to the union’s or its member branch’s operations.

The shop steward and local branch must always be involved when seeking legal aid. Do not seek legal aid from the union on your own. Legal aid can only be granted once the union’s legal unit has looked into the background of the dispute and how likely a successful outcome would be if the matter is contested. Legal aid is always granted by the Steering Committee of the union’s Executive Committee.

You can receive legal aid for a trial that has resulted from

  • your activity in the union
  • your activity in the union’s local branch

… and for a trial that has resulted from

  • your employment relationship or public office

Who is entitled to legal aid?

Basic conditions

  • You have been a member of JHL for at least six months.
  • The incident on which the application for legal aid is based occurred during your membership.
  • You have paid your membership fee for at least six months.
  • Your membership is in order.
  • The membership fees for the employment relationship or public office that is the object of the dispute are in order.

For what kind of cases is legal aid available from the union?

  • Legal aid covers legal disputes resulting from an employment relationship or public office. As a rule, the counterparty in the dispute must be the employer, for example a municipality, the state or a parish – not co-workers or supervisors. Typical disputes are illegal terminations and disputes related to pay.

What if you are a member but working outside the sectors covered by the union? (e.g. a salesperson in a shop)

If you have moved to work in a sector that is not represented by the union, and the request for legal aid concerns a dispute in the new job, legal aid shall only be granted for special reasons.

What if you hire a lawyer yourself – will you receive legal aid?

If you have hired a lawyer to manage the matter before the union has decided on the legal aid, the legal aid shall only be granted in exceptional cases. In addition, a requirement is that applying for legal aid has been delayed for reasons beyond your control.

Applying for legal aid

You can only seek legal aid after negotiations concerning the dispute have been held at the workplace and no local solution has been found.

That is why you must follow these steps:

  • Try to sort out the dispute first with your supervisor or the employer’s representative managing the issue.
  • If this is not successful, ask your shop steward to negotiate in the matter.
  • If your employer will not agree on the matter in accordance with the law and agreements, the shop steward must contact JHL’s regional office to consider follow-up measures.

Preparations for seeking legal aid can be started if the employer will not, even after the above-mentioned reviews and negotiations, correct the errors, even when it is clear that the employer has acted in breach of laws or agreements. Legal aid is applied for in writing using a form specifically created for the purpose.

At the latest at this stage a shop steward should contact JHL’s legal affairs division.

You do not need to apply for legal aid

  • In the case of collective agreement disputes to be heard in the Labour Court. They are transferred to the legal department through local negotiations and national negotiations.
  • Municipal complaints and other complaints also do not require you to seek legal aid. They are usually handled in writing and the legal department provides advice for lodging complaints, if required.

Legal aid is not granted

  • for a member’s civil disputes, such as divorce proceedings, inheritance disputes or residential disputes.