The BASW/SWU Advice and Representation team are a team of qualified social workers who provide specialist professional and regulatory help.
The A&R service provides advice and representation to more than a 1,000 social workers a year.
We are a team of officers qualified in social work which uniquely delivers services from a position of understanding the social work profession. We understand casework demands, complex decision-making processes and the pressures on social workers that can sometimes lead to mistakes. We understand the importance of reflection, supervision and the support that needs to be in place from employers for you to do a good job.AttributionThe Advice and Representation Service
The Advice and Representation team, working in partnership with Social Workers Union, provide the following advice and representation to eligible members:
- Workplace employment law matters - such as disciplinary, grievance, capability, and sickness absence procedures.
- Fitness to practice processes with each of the 4 UK social work regulators (NISSC, SCW, SSSC, and SWE).
We undertake work with members who have experienced discrimination because of a protected characteristic, a problem that should not be encountered in the social work profession but is sadly all too common.
We encourage you to seek advice from the team at an early stage as we may help you to prevent a difficult situation from escalating.
If an employment process becomes formal, or when the fitness to practise process moves to the hearing stage, the team may provide representation and support for eligible members in what can be a complex or challenging situation.
Please note: To access the services of the team, you must be an eligible member. You are entitled to telephone advice and telephone support after the first month of your membership. You will also be entitled to representation after a one-month qualifying period. To qualify for representation, the issue cannot have been a known pre-existing issue or active during this one month qualifying period. It is important to note that any known pre-existing issues or issues that arise in the first month of membership do not ever become eligible for either advice or representation.
Very helpful and knowledgeable. Colleagues who had a different union switched to BASW/SWU after seeing the advice I received.AttributionBASW and SWU member
Guidance sheets for BASW/SWU members
From the day you join you will have access to 46 guidance sheets created by the team which may assist you in resolving a current issue or managing the immediate problem and by providing an overview of what to expect from the process. The sheets cover a wide range of employment and regulatory processes as well as tips on how to approach certain situations or to prepare for meetings.
Download the guidance sheets
- Agency Social Workers Guidance
- Allocation Criteria for the BASW/SWU Advice and Representation service
- Appealing the Outcome of a Hearing Guidance
- Bullying and Harassment Guidance
- Capability Process Guidance
- Completing a Fitness To Practise (FTP) Statement
- Disability Discrimination in the Workplace Guidance
- Disciplinary & Suspension Guidance
- Disclosure and Barring Service Information
- Discrimination in the Workplace Guidance
- Eligibility for Advice and Representation Guidance
- Employment Contracts Guidance
- Employment Tribunal FAQs
- Flexible Working Requests Guidance
- Fitness to Practise (FTP) Proceedings Guidance
- Grievance Guidance
- Ill Health Retirement Guidance
- Insight and Remediation Guidance
- Maternity & Paternity Guidance
- Meetings with Your Employer and right to be accompanied
- Member form - Discrimination
- Member form - Whistleblowing
- Menopause Guidance
- Methods of Representation Criteria for BASW/SWU
- Overpayments & Repayments Guidance
- Pensions Guidance
- Preparation for attendance at meetings guidance
- Preparation for Hearings
- Probation Process Guidance
- Protest Participation and Consequences
- Racism in the Workplace Guidance
- Reasonable Adjustment Passport Template
- Redundancy and Restructuring Guidance
- Reference Guidance and how to challenge a reference
- Reflective Statement Guidance
- Regulatory Body Guidance
- Settlement Agreement Guidance
- Sickness Absence Process Guidance
- Social Work England (SWE) Registration Guidance
- Subject Access Request (SAR) Guidance
- The Advice & Representation Service (A&R) - How we work for you
- TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings) Guidance
- Whistleblowing Guidance
- Work Related Stress Guidance
- Working Time Regulations Guidance
If you are an eligible member and require further information or guidance, please contact us via the contact form for the Advice and Representation team and a member of our team will be in touch (log-in required).
Not a member?
Social Workers Union
SWU is a trade union with approximately 15,000 members dedicated to social work professionals and run by social workers.
Whilst BASW members may be represented by their professional body, the employer has the right to refuse accompaniment. In law, the only legal right to accompaniment is by a workplace colleague or a Trade Union Official.
If you are not already a member we encourage you to join the Social Workers Union (SWU); this will provide you with the reassurance of a statutory right to be accompanied to a grievance or disciplinary hearing by a Trade Union Official.
Opting in to SWU means you get all the benefits of the trade union alongside BASW, your professional association – all under one roof. To make it easy, you pay one monthly or annual fee and you are signposted to where you need to go across a network working to support you.
Opt into SWU for a discounted membership.
I found her to be very knowledgeable, efficient, and professional, as well as compassionate, committed and caring. It is an absolute privilege to be supported with respect, sensitivity and intelligence through one of the most difficult periods of my life.AttributionBASW/SWU Member supported by a Trade Union Official
SWU Trade Union Officials in the Advice & Representation service work throughout the UK and provide representation at internal hearings for disciplinary and grievance procedures, and employer investigations into practice and misconduct allegations. The team provide professional, swift, practical representation.
If you are going through a formal employment process, a SWU member has the right to be represented by an Official of a Trade Union of their choice.
Very helpful and knowledgeable. Colleagues who had a different union switched to BASW/SWU after seeing the advice I received.AttributionMember