The PC1 form is designed to assist reps in handling cases effectively. It records, in one place, the key information that you need to be able to process personal cases in accordance with PCS best practice. It is designed to be completed by the rep but sections of it may be more easily filled in by the member.
Page 1 of the form is largely self-explanatory: it records the member’s personal details.
Ensure that you get the member’s Membership number and then check, either directly or via your branch organiser, that the member is actually recorded on our membership database, Commix. The equality data helps us to monitor whether more personal cases arise with certain group of members or whether certain groups of members experience particular difficulties at work. This may indicate issues that need to be raised in more general negotiations with the employer
The case category checklist on page 2 helps you to identify cases that may have a legal aspect but remember that the member may not know all of the categories that should be indicated here – they may present with a problem that they believe to be related to sickness absence, for example, but it may turn out to have elements of disability discrimination as well.
Page 3 covers the main aspects of the case. Some of it is factual – who the employer is and where the member works; other sections will need to be developed through discussion with the member – what has happened and when; actions/outcomes sought. Use the contents of this guide to help you undertake the necessary discussions with the member to enable you to complete these sections.
The form asks whether anyone else has acted on behalf of the member – this is to ensure that PCS is not trying to deal with cases more than once. It is not unknown for members who are not happy with the outcomes or the suggested approach in a case to contact another rep, to see if they get a different answer. Also we are unable to assist members legally if another solicitor is involved – this might breach the Law Society’s rules about how solicitors work together.
The member should be asked to read through the information on pages 1 to 3 and to sign and date at the bottom of the page. This is your reassurance that what you have recorded is correct and allows you to contact PCS HQ or other reps for advice and support. It also means that the member understands the limitations within which you can assist them.
Page 4 is for you to complete and acts as an update sheet, as well, as the case progresses. At the completion of the case, there is space for you to note down the eventual outcome.