Free help sources

If you're a union member, they should be your first port of call for advice and representation - Get in touch with a rep where you work, or your union's national office if you don't have one or don't know who it is. If you're not a member already, there are a number of other places you can get advice and limited help for free.

ACAS help lines

ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is a government-funded agency that promotes good relations in the workplace. It operates a national help line on 08457 474747 that can give free information on employment issues to both employees and employers. The ACAS website is at www.acas.org.uk

Advice agencies

Law Centres provide a free and professional legal service to people who live or work in their catchment areas. The Law Centres Federation can tell you if there is a Law Centre near you. Its number is 020 7387 8570, or visit their website at www.lawcentres.org.uk

The National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux can give you information about your local CAB at www.nacab.org.uk.

On the web

We've tried to give helpful links where appropriate. One good general advice site is provided by the National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux at www.adviceguide.org.uk. ACAS www.acas.org.uk also provides some general employment law advice. Click here for other useful links to employment rights sites.

Benefits for union members

If you are in a union you can also ask them for advice. Unions are experts at solving problems at work. Use the workSMART unionfinder to contact a union in your work sector.

Pensions

The Financial Services Authority offers general information about financial services and products. Phone 0845 606 1234. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. Calls are charged at local rates.

OPAS is an independent, non-profit organisation that provides information and guidance on the whole spectrum of pensions covering State, company, personal and stakeholder schemes. They can help you if you have a problem, complaint or dispute with your occupational or private pension arrangement. OPAS operates a national telephone helpline on: 0845 601 2923. Calls are charged at local rates.

If you are a union member and have a problem with your occupational pension you should approach your union. Many unions employ pensions specialists. You can get contact details for your union from the workSMART union finder.