Greater Manchester Law Centre runs an employment service to provide advice and guidance on employment rights and law queries. You can get in touch with us on the Contact details to the right, or by emailing us on reception@gmlaw.org.uk.

If you are a member of a trade union, you may have access to legal advice as part of your union membership, so we recommend you begin by seeking out advice or guidance from your union representative or legal services. We prioritise enquiries from Greater Manchester residents for whom advice is not already available through their trade union.

Image shows a worker in a food packaging factory.

To see if we can help you with your problem, please contact:

Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC)

669 Stockport Road
Longsight
Manchester
M12 4QE

Opening hours (appointments only)
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Please call and leave your name and number on our messaging system. We will call you back to book an appointment if appropriate.

Contact information

Phone 0161 769 2244
Email reception@gmlaw.org.uk

On our Contact page, you will find a map with location of our premises and travel information.

If we cannot help you, we will always try to give you further information and refer you to an organisation who can.

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;
  • Support and guidance on how to work together with colleagues to decide and argue for your interests at work;
  • Health and safety support and representation.

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, who would you turn to for objective, accurate legal advice and support?

Have you ever felt that you and your colleagues deserve a better deal at work, but feel nervous or unsure how to talk about it with them?

Being a member of a trade union, you could 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.

Trade unions can also offer training and support to help workers become organisers, learning how to work together to become a collective voice at work and to argue for better conditions.

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: https://worksmart.org.uk/tools/union-finder

Recent GMLC News on Employment Law

Zero hour contracts: an uncertain future for insecure employees

Following the publication of a new report, ‘Zero Choices: Swapping Zero Hour Contracts for Secure, Flexible Working’, GMLC campaign volunteer Seb Dawson writes on zero hours contracts and what you…

Zombie policies: the threatened return of Employment Tribunal fees

In this article, GMLC employment campaign volunteer lead Avaia Nightingale Williams discusses the recent proposal to reintroduce fees in the Employment Tribunal and analyses how this will clash with a previous ruling…

Employment law update: what you need to know

In this article, GMLC employment campaign volunteer lead Avaia Nightingale Williams explores recent updates and decisions impacting employment rights in the UK, as well as considering some upcoming or ongoing…

No to the Minimum Service Levels Bill: an interview with John Hendy KC

GMLC campaign volunteer Nick Sloan spoke to Lord John Hendy KC about the new Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill and its dangers – with additions and explanation by Jake Marshall.…