Joining a trade union is a matter of choice and competency. If you are capable of negotiating terms and conditions by yourself, and representing yourself in disciplinary proceedings and other workplace issues that may come up, then you should do so. If you don’t then you should join a trade union. It used to be that staff associations and trade unions had the power of taking industrial action as a way of putting pressure on the employer. That power has been removed by legislation. Right now it’s pretty much deciding what you need, and shopping around to see if there is a union that can give you what you need. It’s very subjective. Some people join a union and are very happy, others are not.
Employers and employment agencies must not treat you unfairly because you decide to join, decide to leave, refuse to leave or refuse to join a trade union. If they do, you may be able to make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal.
You have the right to:
You can exercise your right to choose at any time.
Your employer is not allowed to try to make you change your decision by offering you a benefit if you change your mind, or by threatening to penalise you if you do not. Your employer is not allowed to penalise you later for keeping to your decision.
In order to start work, no employer or employment agency may require you to:
They are not allowed to advertise a job with a requirement that you do any of those things.
An employment agency must not refuse to provide you with its services because you:
Where an employer or employment agency requires you to join a specific trade union in order to start work, this is called a closed-shop practice, and is unlawful. This also applies to jobs where you would be employed by a trade union, and to jobs which a trade union advertises on behalf of another employer.
Your employer must not dismiss you or select you for redundancy because you:
If you are not a trade union member you do not have to comply with any requirement by your employer that you:
Your employer must not dismiss you or select you for redundancy because you refused these requirements.
Treating you unfavourably includes, for example, refusing you promotion or training opportunities, or withholding a pay increase.
If you are a trade union member your employer must not treat you unfairly in order to deter you from:
Your employer must not offer you a sum of money or other financial inducement to persuade you not to do these things.
If you are not a trade union member your employer must not:
You can raise a grievance with your employer or agency and may be entitled to make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal if you think that either:
If you think your employer has dismissed you or made you redundant for a reason connected to your trade union membership or your decision not to join a trade union, you may be entitled to make a complaint of unfair dismissal to an Employment Tribunal.
Partly sourced from: DirectGov
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