Why choose BASW and SWU?
We believe that by working together BASW and SWU provide the best protection and best advice for social workers. The BASW / SWU Advice & Representation team understand the complexities of the profession, the competing demands placed upon you by your employer, and the Code of Conduct.
We know how difficult it can be working under tremendous pressure to deliver effective services and understand the context in which you work. We use our specialist knowledge to advocate and negotiate on behalf of social workers, both individually and collectively within the trade union movement and with employers.
BASW is not a Trade Union – under section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 a worker has the right to be accompanied by a SWU Trade Union Official. Members of BASW without union membership do not have this right.
SWU is a registered trade union and organisational member of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). SWU is the only UK trade union for all social workers and is run by people qualified in social work.
On 13 March 2018 BASW a new formal co-operation agreement between the two organisations was signed by John McGowan, SWU General Secretary and Ruth Allen, BASW Chief Executive, at the BASW Additional General Meeting in London.
The newly agreed 2023 Co-operation Agreement shows BASW and SWU’s ongoing commitment to work together to achieve the best outcomes for the social work profession across the UK.
Together we can offer our members highly professionally informed advice and representation. We also campaign and undertake research and learning activities together and through this, influence change across social work and social care.AttributionBASW CEO Ruth Allen
Benefits of being a BASW and SWU member
Only a trade union can guarantee representation in hearings before an employer. Becoming a member of SWU means you’ll receive guaranteed protection at employer hearings and representation from SWU Trade Union officials.