FAQS - The Support We Offer

Who will be advising me?

All SWU/A&R Officers are registered social workers, having worked at managerial levels within local authorities. Officers have employment law knowledge and receive regular and ongoing training in this area.

Do you represent at regulatory and care council hearings?

Yes, we provide representation by SWU/A&R officers, all of whom have an understanding of the conduct process in each UK country, as well as insight into the effect particular sanctions will have on the career of a registered social worker.

Do you provide legal support?

Our legal services will provide an informed legal perspective on any potential Employment Tribunal case which will enable us to provide you with an honest and transparent assessment of whether your case will or will not go forward to an ET and whether or not the circumstances will enable us to provide legal representation at the ET hearing. If the opinion is that there is a strong case to be made at an Employment Tribunal then SWU will provide the necessary legal support.

As a student will I be entitled to Advice and Representation?

Yes. Unlike other providers of services to student social workers, you will receive advice over the telephone and representation, if appropriate, in any formal meeting relating to your placement or course.

What’s the difference between being a member of the Social Workers Union and BASW?

Membership of the Social Workers Union is an additional BASW member benefit. SWU is an arms-length trade union arm of BASW but its legal status means members are better protected and their rights to representation in any meeting with an employer are safeguarded.

How do I become a Union member?

To become a member of SWU you can simply opt-in either online or telephone the administration office.

The appointment system

SWU offers an appointment system to ensure that we are providing the best possible advice service to members. When you contact us you will be offered an appointment. The duty officer will telephone you at the allotted time and will ensure they have a clear window of up to 30 minutes to discuss your matter in detail.

Is the service confidential?

Yes, the service is completely confidential and all of your personal information is stored securely and kept within the department. It is important to note that SWU upholds the employees code of conduct and adheres to BASW’s Code of Ethics and does not condone bad practice. As such, we could not guarantee to keep an issue confidential if it clearly involved poor or dangerous practice that potentially places vulnerable people at risk.

What is the qualifying period for representation?

You are entitled to telephone advice and support from the first day of your membership. You will be entitled to representation after the three month qualifying period. Please note that to qualify for representation, the issue cannot have been active during this three month qualifying period.

Is there an officer in my area?

Yes, SWU offers a UK wide service, with officers located across the UK. We will always aim to make your representative as local as possible, resources permitting.