An advocate who worked pro bono to help a mother win £23,000 compensation has been hailed “an absolute legend” by the delighted client.
Colin Edward took on the case through the Faculty of Advocates’ Free Legal Services Unit (FLSU), which had been contacted by West Lothian Citizens Advice Bureau, and represented Amanda Martin at an employment tribunal.
Ms Martin lost her job as a call centre adviser with HM Revenue and Customs in Bathgate after maternity leave. Her child had complex healthcare needs and she wanted to reduce her hours, but an agreement could not be reached and she went on a period of sick leave due to stress. Subsequently, she was dismissed.
The tribunal held that Ms Martin had suffered unlawful disability discrimination and was unfairly dismissed, and awarded her a total of £23,724 in compensation and interest.
She said: “I had been advised that my case was not winnable, and I was running out of options, but after visiting the Citizens Advice Bureau in Livingston, my case was picked up by the FLSU. Without the FLSU stepping in to help, I would never have been where I am today.
“Mr Edward’s professionalism and his passion to win my case was greatly appreciated, and I can’t thank him enough. Mr Colin Edward is an absolute legend!”
Through referrals from accredited advice agencies, the FLSU can step in to help in deserving cases when no form of funding is available, and can provide advice and representation by volunteer senior and junior counsel over the whole spectrum of court and tribunal work.