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BASW / SWU Advice and Representative support - Covid update

Supporting and representing you in the workplace

The BASW Advice and Representative (A&R) team SWU Trade Union Service is continuing to offer advice to BASW and SWU members who might be facing a range of employment issues, from discrimination and misconduct allegations to grievances, health and retirement issues and Fitness to Practice allegations.

Like many organisations the effects of Covid is causing us to work differently.  Here you will find the ways we are supporting you during this period.

We are continuing to prioritise BASW and SWU members to by advising and remotely representing (subject to our eligibility criteria) at all formal meetings where you have a statutory right to be represented by a trade union of your choice.

We will also accompany you to disciplinary investigation meetings where we feel it is important that we understand the issues at the earliest opportunity.

Early stages advice and guidance

We may not be able to allocate A&R officers in the early stages of processes, but will advise members on what to expect, how to manage themselves in informal meetings, what to ask, to take notes and to take a colleague if this is allowed in your employer’s policies and procedures. We will then allocate to an A&R Officer if matters proceed to, say, second stage meetings if necessary and appropriate.

We do not undertake to write grievances for members or to respond to initial allegations because the case must remain your case; you know the fine detail and are best placed to do this.

We will, however, assist you wherever possible by reviewing what you have written and offering advice as appropriate. We do ask that you keep any such submissions succinct and to the point as we expect to handle this work via our time-limited duty service. Sometimes bullet points are the best way of summarising lots of information.

Like all good Social Workers, we also encourage you to write a brief chronology of events as this is often a good way to encapsulate all the information without going into great detail, at the start of any process.

Regulatory Body Fitness to Practice proceedings

Our BASW/SWU A&R team of qualified social workers understand the issues you face will continue to represent members at Regulatory Body Fitness to Practice proceedings - providing the member meets our eligibility criteria and are not found to have breached BASW’s Code of Ethics.

At this time, hearings are still being held remotely, and we are working closely with the Regulatory Bodies to ensure that hearing are conducted fairly and to ensure due process.

All prior and preparatory meetings will continue to be progressed via telephone and email contact as they are currently.

Supporting you

All incoming work will be assessed according to our strict criteria and any decisions about the level of intervention we provide will be made by the A&R management team.

We will continue to provide all the support we can during this difficult time and ask that you also bear with us during this very busy period to support you.  Please do continue to contact the Advice and Representation team and a member of our team will be in touch or call us on 0121 622 8413.