The PCU1 form is designed to assist reps in seeking advice from the PCS Support Centre on matters relating to personal cases.
The guidance on this page should be followed at all times when completing the PCU1 form.
When a member contacts you for advice and support, please ensure that you provide them with a copy of the Personal Case - Letter for members. Please record the date of when that letter was provided to the member, as it may be important if the member tries to take action against PCS.
Guide for completing the PCU1 form
Progressing ‘personal cases’ is a key part of the role of the PCS representative. PCS members can experience a range of difficulties related to their work, and the union is here to help members resolve such difficulties.
It is important to ensure that all sections of the PCU1 form are completed in as much detail as possible, to enable PCS to help the member to the best of our ability.
The PCS representative should take responsibility for completion of the form. In some cases however, the form may need to be completed by the member where face-to-face meetings are difficult to arrange or there is an urgent deadline to be met.
The rep needs to ensure that the member signs the authority for data sharing – without that, there may be a delay if we need to refer the matter to our solicitors, as they have advised that we need such a signed undertaking before sharing potentially sensitive personal data.
Advice to the PCS member
Please provide as much detail as possible to enable the PCS representative to complete this form.
If the form does not cover all aspects of the case, or there is insufficient room, feel free to make additional comments on a separate paper, and attach it to the form.
It is particularly important to provide dates of meetings or interviews with management. You should also ensure that the representative is aware of the dates of any future meetings, or deadlines you are required to meet.
Please also complete the equality monitoring section of the form. This information is extremely useful to PCS. It will help us to identify recurring problems affecting different groups of members, and to make sure we are complying with our equal opportunities commitments.
Please also be aware of the following:
You must be a member of PCS and remain a member in order to access support from the union. We cannot give employment law assistance to family members unless they are also PCS members. Where issues arose before you joined PCS, the union may not be able to provide assistance – that decision rests with your local Branch initially. Even if they are prepared to assist, such cases may not benefit from legal advice or support.
The PCS role is to try to assist members, and often we will be able to achieve a satisfactory outcome. However, PCS cannot guarantee you will get everything you want. Discuss the action/outcome sought section of the form thoroughly with your representative and be clear about what is realistically achievable in your particular circumstances.
In the unlikely event that you refuse to take the advice of PCS representatives on how to pursue your case, PCS may take the view that we cannot continue to represent you on that issue.
Advice to the PCS representative
Ensure that the PCU1 form is completed accurately and in full.
Take particular care to ensure that any relevant deadlines (including legal deadlines) are met, particularly where they relate to Employment Tribunal applications. If you are seeking further advice, please do so promptly.
Keep the member up to date on how the case is progressing, and do not make agreements with management without the member’s consent.
If you require further advice or assistance with the case, please contact your branch secretary, PCS group or regional office, or PCS HQ.
Ensure deadlines are met
Take particular care to ensure that any relevant deadlines (including legal deadlines) are met, particularly where they relate to Employment Tribunal applications.
Most claims to Employment Tribunals must be made within three months of the date of the employment ending or when the matter the member is complaining about happened.
Although you should ensure that internal grievance procedures have been followed, these DO NOT delay or extend the ET time limits. If you have to lodge an ET complaint while internal processes are still being followed, you can ask the Tribunal to suspend further action on the ET case until internal processes are completed.
If you are seeking further advice from PCS, please do so at the earliest opportunity.
Members and Representatives should also note:
PCS is proud of our record of achievements on behalf or our members. Publicising our successes both reminds employers of their responsibilities, and encourages more people to join PCS. We may therefore request the member’s agreement to publicise the outcome of the case if appropriate.
Where a claim has been initiated using the member’s own lawyers, assistance under the employment law scheme will not normally be given. If the claim is accepted this will only be on the basis that the member is responsible for any costs arising prior to the involvement of the union. PCS will not instruct other lawyers than their own retained firms.
The union may withdraw assistance at any time if the member fails to co-operate including any failure to attend medical examinations, failure to respond to correspondence and any failure to provide all the relevant information.
Should assistance be withdrawn, the member will be liable for any legal costs incurred by the union up to the time of withdrawal. The PCS Support Centre or its chosen solicitors will notify the member of circumstances in which he/she may become liable for costs.
If the member chooses to withdraw or transfer instructions after a claim has been intimated to potential defendants (other than with PCS consent), the member will be liable for the union’s legal costs incurred up to that date.
PCS will not provide support or assistance if the member instructs another non-PCS representative or lawyer.
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