During these unprecedented and uncertain times a lot of employees will be concerned about job security and where to turn to for advice which is why now, more than ever, it is essential to highlight the importance of being a member of a trade union.
By joining a trade union, members can benefit from a range of services which can include assistance with negotiating improved pay and working conditions; advice in respect of work-related issues; and access to legal advice. Thompsons Solicitors are one of the largest trade union law firms in Scotland. We act on behalf of union members in relation to accidents and employment disputes. This specialist knowledge is something union members are able to access free of charge by virtue of their union members.
During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, trade unions are working tirelessly to ensure their members jobs are protected and their health & safety is at the forefront of employers minds. As businesses across a multitude of sectors have had to close their doors over the past few weeks, at the advice of government, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, this will have been a particularly worrying time for those who cannot work from home. For example, those working in the retail and hospitality industries will have had a lot of uncertainty regarding job security and worries regard their income. Trade union members would have been able to seek advice from their union regarding any legal protection they have and any recourse they may have against employers. Also, following the announcement of the furlough scheme by the government, many employees will want to know how this will have impact upon them and what they are entitled to. Again, this is another query which union members will have been able to direct at their union reps in order to have clarity regarding where they stand.
For those considered to be a key worker, the unions have been working to ensure their members are working in safe conditions and challenging employers who are failing to follow government advice regarding the provision of appropriate personal protective equipment to those working on the frontline. The role of trade union reports has been to ensure that their members are protected while ensuring key services can remain open. They can hold employers to account where they are not treating staff correctly.
Joining a union during times of uncertainty can provide reassurance to employees and provide a source of information that they otherwise may not have had therefore we would urge all employees to consider joining their trade union.
Blog by Eilish Lindsay, Associate