Some information about your rights during COVID-19

How joining a trade union could help you

What are trade unions?

Unions are all about supporting their members at work. Those involved in the union movement believe that all aspects of working life should be the subject of discussion and agreement between employers and employees who are organised together under the protection of a trade union. Trained representatives of the union lead this initiative, providing help and assistance to members.

Should I join a union?

People generally join a union in order to get access to one or a combination of the following benefits:

  • An independent voice to negotiate with your employer
  • Independent industrial relations and specialist employment law advice, support and representation
  • Health and Safety

Who would you turn to if you had to go through a disciplinary procedure at work or if you had to bring a grievance against your employer? If you were being bullied, harassed or discriminated against at work, what would you do?

Do you feel that your employer is looking after your health and safety at work? Are you being exposed to risks that you don’t think you should be? If you had an accident at work whom would you turn to for objective, accurate legal advice and support?

Being a member of a Trade Union you would get support.

If you have a legal case resulting from a workplace accident or any other work-related legal case, Trade Unions organise solicitors who will deal with it at no cost to you. This includes: unfair dismissals, redundancies, industrial diseases, pay cuts, pension disputes, sex, race and disability discrimination, harassment and bullying and equal pay.

How do I access a Trade Union

If there’s a union at work, you can ask the trade union representative (‘rep’) about joining. Their contact details may be in your company handbook, intranet site or on the union noticeboard. The union rep will tell you if you’re eligible to join and give you a membership form to fill in.

The Government publishes information about Unions.

Here are some links:

Joining a trade union

Trade unions: the current list and schedule

The Work Smart website from the TUC (Trades Union Congress) offers a Union finder tool:

What GMLC can do for you

If you are not a member of a trade union, but need employment legal advice, you may be able to attend our monthly Employment Legal Advice Clinic.

Please book your appointment by visiting GMLC, calling reception on 0161 769 2244 or emailing We are open Monday to Thursday 10am to 3pm, and Friday for appointments only.

More information about the Employment Legal Advice Clinic here.

Recent GMLC News on Employment Law

We’re hiring! – Employment Lawyer/Supervisor and 2x Community Advice Navigators

We are hiring! – Employment Lawyer/Supervisor and 2x Community Advice Navigators Don’t just pay LIP Service to Access to Justice!  Greater Manchester Law Centre/Citizens Advice North Lancashire are launching an…

Early Conciliation and Starting Employment Tribunal Claims

Starting an Employment Tribunal Claim   It is a requirement in nearly all situations before bringing a claim to an Employment Tribunal to contact ACAS to start the process of…

COVID-19: Survival Guide

Greater Manchester Law Centre has developed the attached guide to support residents and support organisations to assist people through the current health emergency. This guide will be updated regularly as…

COVID-19: Our Demands

The unprecedented health crisis caused by COVID-19 has ensured that the Government has announced a radical package of measures in response. Greater Manchester Law Centre welcomes many of these as…

COVID-19: Your Employment Rights 

The current health situation is wholly unprecedented and so there is no accurate guidelines to go by from past experience.  The Government is intervening in an effort to support employers…

Workers’ Rights in the Gig Economy

By Brocho Nemetsky Brocho is a volunteer at the GMLC. She is interested in learning about our rights, and helping others to do the same. She works as a paralegal…

“Access to justice is no longer a worker’s right, but a luxury.”

Laws that cost too much to enforce are phoney laws. A civil right that people can’t afford to use is no right at all. And a society that turns justice…

Need Free Legal Help?