FAQs

How do I get in touch with my UNISON representative?
If you know who your representative is, please contact them directly.
If not, please use the Reps Listing page on the Contact Us section of this website to find out who will be able to help you.
If this is out of normal office hours, or in an emergency where you cannot contact anyone else, please call UNISON Direct on 0845 355 0845.

Can I take a UNISON representative to a hearing with me?
The Employment Relations Act 1999 introduced a right for workers to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing by a trade union representative or a fellow worker.
From September 2000 a worker who is “required or invited” by their employer to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing, may “reasonably request” to be accompanied by a “single companion”. The companion can be a paid trade union officer, a lay trade union official or a fellow worker.

What do I do if I am suspended from work?
Contact your branch immediately using the Reps Listing page on the Contact Us section of this website.

What is classed as harassment at work?
In law, harassment is defined as unwanted conduct which has had the purpose or effect of violating the individual’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him or her. Bullying and intimidation are also forms of harassment.

Non-verbal conduct, such as the display of certain pictures, “pin ups”, emblems, written or electronically transmitted material can also make people feel uncomfortable, can cause offence and can be regarded as a form of harassment. Harassment may be of a sexual or racial nature, or it may be directed towards someone because of their social or educational background, sexuality, religious belief, political opinion, age, a disability, or some other characteristic.

It makes the recipient feel threatened, humiliated, patronised or that their privacy is being invaded and creates an intimidating working environment. It is defined by the impact upon the recipient, not the intention of the behaviour. It should not be confused with normal social relationships freely entered into and acceptable to all those involved. Harassment can occur in the form of a single event or sustained behaviour, and can interfere with job performance, cause stress, ill health and absenteeism and may be unlawful.

Should I be treated differently if I only work part time?
No. Legal rights for part time workers came into force from 1 July 2000. This legislation aims to prevent part time workers from being treated less favourably than comparable full time workers.

I am a member of UNISON and I have just been advised that I am to be disciplined, what should I do?
You should contact your UNISON steward straight away and arrange to meet them. When you meet your UNISON steward it would be helpful if you took with you and material such as papers, documents, reports etc that you may feel are useful for your steward to see. UNISON stewards are well trained and well informed about procedures and will advise and represent you through the whole process and if necessary obtain legal advice on your case.

I think I have a grievance – What do I do?
UNISON members who feel they might have grounds to lodge a grievance should seek advice from their local UNISON representative

Grievances are usually about workplace issues, except pay and conditions. These may range from working conditions to working relations. UNISON representatives will need to have all the details regarding your grievance including any relevant documents. As an employee you should use your employer’s grievance procedure to process your claim. Your UNISON representative will be able to help you.

Under normal circumstances, please contact your local steward – see the Reps Listing page on the Contact Us section of this website.

Alternative contact in emergency is:

Severn Trent Water Ltd
UNISON Central Water Branch
Waterworks Road
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B16 9DD

Telephone: 02477 715 700

Email: unison.severntrent@btconnect.com