Are there unions specific to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England? I live in Northern Ireland.
I have been given menial jobs at work and I think I’m being gas lighted. People ignore me and talk about politics and health issues at work. It’s very unprofessional and I avoid lunch with staff so to avoid feeling awkward and under a microscope.
HR by the way are very distant with me ever since I disclosed my aspergers, or maybe since I described insidious bullying and poor treatment at a previous place of employment. Or maybe since I said I contacted specialisterne as they can work with the employer and employee and could provide a service to me. HR did not like this, I knew as soon as I said it. I don’t really know.
I do know that people are keeping me out of the loop (about what I’m not sure) because there’s so much whispering going on and team members are behaving shiftily. All communications to me are being done via email with my manager cc’d in. I am being brought up on minor mistakes which has not happened before.
So how do I go about joining a union because I can see myself being let go from my job and it being covered up as a ‘performance’ or attitudinal problem.
Unions are usually specific to job role - eg I am a teacher and am a member of a teaching union
Here are some NI links: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/introduction-trade-unions https://www.ictuni.org/
https://www.unison-ni.org.uk/ Unison is a large union covering staff in a variety of professions
Having worked in HE, there have always been a number of union reps at each site I've worked at e.g UCU, Unison etc. In this environment I've found there isn't a best union, rather the thing to focus on is which rep has the best skill set.
Hi Bagpuss7, I emailed the ICTU there now. Many thanks.
If your employer recognises a union, that would be the best choice. Otherwise, look for a union specific to your trade. And if there isn't one specific, Unite will cover it as they absorbed a large number of other small unions from different professions.
You are entitled under employment law to representation from a trade union representative or a work colleague can accom pany you but not represent you in formal disciplinary procedures or if you are lodging a grievance. You will also be entitled to free legal advice if you are a union member through your union approved solicitors, who may represent you in a tribunal subject to whether your case is sound.
As well as considering a trade union, I would also contact Access to Work (NI). (Google it) which can provide help such ads funding for a support worker in your workplace and suggest reasonable adjustments for your employer to put in place. Keep a copy of all your emails and a copy of your diagnosis report if you have one. And make a note of all the ways you are affected by autism - stress, anxiety and depression and sensory overload in its many manifestations are the big ones in the workplace, although sociability or lack of is also an important one.
You need not contact your employer about Access to Work as they will do it for you. They have ways of persuasion! And if your employer refuses this will give grounds for a grievance and ultimately a tribunal under not providing reasonable adjustments.
I am a union equality rep by the way.
Hi, thanks for that. I had a look at some of the unions online but I'm still none the wiser so I emailed the ICTU. There are bound to be union members who have ASD and have chosen their union based on their ability to fight for those on the spectrum. I hope so anyway. Any information will be good however. I'm looking forward to the ICTU reply.
Is an employer allowed to refuse to buy the Access to Work support, or delay it? I know that Access to Work pays most/all of the cost (depending on the size of the employer).
It does not look good for an employer to refuse. They would leave themselves open to a grievance procedure and if that was not upheld, to a possible employment tribunal case. And Access to work will explain to your employer the importance of their obligations under the equality act.
The employer could only refuse to pay and get away with it if the amount asked of them was not reasonable. Since this has been set in law, the employer would hardly likely succeed.
Thank you. I will look into this
I am confused as I had to contact Access to Work, not my employer. Access to bWork is free but the likes of Genius Within require their costs paid by Employer, employee or Access to Work (who need to have done a workplace assessment before Genius Within can be invoolved).