About the Social Workers Union

The Social Workers Union (SWU) is a trade union dedicated to social work professionals. Unlike other trade unions, SWU is able to offer you representation* from a qualified social worker - someone who understands the code of conduct and what it is like to be a practising social worker. We grasp sometimes competing demands placed upon you by the employer and the code of conduct. We know how difficult it can be as a social worker, working under tremendous pressure sometimes subjected to wholly unreasonable criticism in the press, to deliver the services your clients deserve. We are able to use this specialist knowledge to advocate on behalf of social workers both individually and collectively within the trade union movement.

SWU has an arms-length relationship with BASW. Membership of SWU for BASW members is available for a small sum - just £1.66 per month (£20 per annum) - waged or £0.83 per month (£10 per annum) - unwaged and students. As a Trade Union, SWU, unlike a professional association can guarantee representation before employers' hearings as this is a legal entitlement. SWU offers swift, practical representation and works with BASW which offers advice and representation before the regulatory bodies**. In these challenging times, social workers need the best protection possibe. We believe that working together, SWU and BASW provide the best protection and advice for social workers from social workers.

SWU is a member of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), a group of 22 specialist unions with a collective membership of over 225,000 individual members. This means that our members have access to the fantastic range of training provided by the GFTU - details of this can be found here.

To find out more about how to join (if you’re not already a BASW member) or to opt-in (for existing BASW members) click here

* Representation excludes pre-existing issues and issues that became active within the first three months of membership. Representation is also not available to retired and overseas members.

** Regulatory bodies are the Health and Care Professions Council in England (HCPC), the Care Council for Wales (CCW), the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)