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Talk to SWU: workplace issues webinar on 31 March 2021

All UK social workers are invited to attend this free online Talk to SWU session, regardless of membership.

Back by popular demand - Talk to SWU: work place issues webinar | Wednesday 31 March 2021 at 6-7pm. A chance to talk with the Social Workers Union about workplace issues with a panel of Advice and Representation officers and legal representation.

On Wednesday, 31 March 2021 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm all UK social workers will have a chance to talk with the Social Workers Union (SWU) about workplace issues.

This session is free to attend and will allow you to talk directly to SWU about any workplace issues you are experiencing. The webinar is set up so that questions can be asked anonymously.

We will be addressing some questions based on recent 2021 enquiries, including:

  • What is the difference between direct vs indirect discrimination?
  • What are the issues surrounding discrimination based on religious & philosophical beliefs?
  • My employer wants to make changes to my contract of employment – what are the legal protections?
  • Can my employer require me to be vaccinated against COVID-19? 
  • Can my employer require me to work with someone who hasn't been!  Or won't wear a mask?

Employment law has become a focus for discussion during the COVID-19 pandemic as social workers are currently facing a gamut of issues that include having their contracts changed, risk of redundancy, and facing discrimination.

A member of BASW’s Advice and Representation team said, “We’re seeing an increasing number of contracts being unilaterally changed by the employer. It’s disgraceful that this is being done during a pandemic.”

Direct and indirect discrimination is when someone is treated less favourable in the workplace due to a protected characteristic such as disability, race, religion, age, or pregnancy and maternity. BASW’s Advice and Representation team say, “It can be a complicated issue and many people don’t realise the restricted timelines for discriminatory claims. Any discrimination claim must be launched with Acas within ‘12 weeks less 1 day’ of the discriminatory act taking place. We can guide you through dignity at work grievances and support you through them.”

As a member of SWU, you are entitled to telephone advice and telephone support from BASW’s Advice and Representation / SWU Trade Union team from your first day of membership. However, you will only be entitled to representation after the three-month qualifying period as a member of SWU. You can read here about the benefits of being a member of SWU including access to GFTU training – so remember to opt into SWU with your BASW membership!

You can register your place here for the March 31 Talk to SWU webinar. All social workers in the UK are welcome to attend this free session.


Interested in seeing what a Talk to SWU webinar is like? You can watch the last session below!

This is a recording of a previous Talk to SWU webinar. Please note that this webinar was recorded on 17 December 2020 and some of the information may now be out of date.