Activist Resources

This section will provide you with practical advice and guidance on dealing with a range of issues that can arise in the workplace and help you build an active and organised union in the workplace.

Employment Rights

  • The TUC guide on your rights at work in the UK. Translated in 13 languages.
  • Download Paternity leave and pay (PDF) If you are an expectant father or the partner of someone due to give birth or adopt a child, you could be entitled to time off to attend ante-natal appointments plus up to two weeks’ paid paternity leave. You may also be able to...
  • Download Leave and pay for mothers (PDF) Pregnant women are protected from harm in the workplace and have the right not to be dismissed or unfavourably treated because of their pregnancy. Most employed mothers are entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave and 39 weeks’ Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance...
  • A chapter from The TUC Workplace Manual.
  • This guidance seeks to clarify the law on access to medical reports that are requested by the employer and states how unions and safety representatives can ensure that the rights of workers are protected.

Equalities

  • ​Unions have a crucial role in ensuring that all workers are able to do their jobs free from harassment. This guide will help you deal with cases of sexual harassment in the workplace,
  • The government review into survivor benefits estimated that 27 per cent of private sector schemes (1,334 schemes) that provide a survivor pension treat same-sex spouses and civil partners less favourably than opposite-sex spouses, relying on an exemption in the Equality Act 2010. The TUC estimates that more than 70,000 members...
  • The TUC works with allies to challenge homophobia and transphobia in football. To mark LGBT History Month, February 2016, the TUC and footballers’ union the PFA have launched a new campaign toolkit to help trade unionists and others organise on the ground The TUC is encouraging trade unions to collectively...
  • Download Time off and pay for parents having a child through surrogacy (PDF) This booklet covers the basic (sometimes called statutory) rights that employers must provide to intended parents who are having a child through a surrogacy arrangement. Your employer may offer better rights than the legal minimum and you...
  • The TUC, in partnership with Epilepsy Action have produced a new guide for trade unionists on supporting members with epilepsy. The author is a specialist and a trade unionist so this briefing will be an authoritative aid to union reps, officers and members on dealing with the issues facing members...
  • The TUC Charter on international LGBT solidarity spells out the duty of unions to support LGBT people facing oppression across the world, and explains the principles on which it must be based. The Charter has been endorsed by the International TUC.
  • Guidance for unions on why the Social Model of Disability matters at this time of relentless attack on disabled people’s rights has been published by the TUC.
  • This eNote aims to raise awareness among union reps of the issue of domestic violence; make them understand the role they need to play in the process and encourage them to put together a suitable workplace policy to deal with such issues. The Domestic Violence eNote: explains what domestic violence...
  • This is a new guide for trade union reps about mental health issues and how lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people can be affected in the workplace. It reveals that mental health issues can be even more challenging for LGBT people than the rest of the population. This has...
  • Autism in the workplace , written for the TUC by Janine Booth, aims to inform union reps and workers of the facts around the condition, and advice on how to support autistic staff to ensure they get the adjustments they may need – and are legally entitled to. The guide...
  • First published in 2005, this new edition has been updated and revised by Brian Hagan for the TUC. It describes a framework for negotiating and promoting workplace practices that aid dyslexic staff and in itself exemplifies British Dyslexia Association guidelines on good publishing practice. Download Dyslexia in the Workplace [PDF]...
  • A list of countries where homosexuality is still illegal
  • The position of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people in Britain has been transformed beyond recognition in the course of a single generation. However, the problems that remain are substantial and trade unions, which have played a major part in winning the improvements gained in recent years,...
  • Guidance for unions on how to deal with discrimination against disabled workers losing their jobs through failure to count disability-related absence separately from sickness absence, with advice on negotiating a disability leave policy.
  • With growing recognition of the extent of mental health problems at work and the continuing prejudice and discrimination faced by workers with mental health issues, the TUC has published a list of resources for union reps and officers to use both in supporting members and in persuading employers to adopt...
  • A TUC Bargaining Guide. This guide aims to help trade union reps and officers involved in organising, representing and negotiations to win a better deal at work for agency workers. It aims to outline new equal treatment rights for agency workers. The information contained is for guidance only and should...
  • A chapter form The TUC Workplace Manual.
  • This is a toolkit for trade unions, voluntary organisations, community groups and others who want to assess the human rights and equality impact of the spending cuts on women in their communities.
  • Written by Simpson Millar Solicitors on behalf of the TUC, this guide covers the main family-friendly rights that are covered by legislation separate to and included in the Equality Act 2010. It is split into three main sections: the Act itself; rights for working parents and carers; and compliance and enforcement.
  • This toolkit is aimed at trade union negotiators to help them understand the new public sector equality duty and how they can use it. It provides guidance on the new public sector equality duty, including what ‘due regard' means in practice.
  • The second edition of this popular guide, written to assist unions in challenging discrimination and in negotiating good policy and practice. It includes up-to-date case studies, examples of audits and monitoring, and a full resource list. Alternatively you can either download a PDF version of the guide or a large...
  • This booklet outlines the trade union role and identifies ways to prevent the exploitation or harassment of migrant workers.
  • The aim of this short guide is to help to you to become proactive in identifying and tackling issues that affect black workers in general, rather than focusing solely on individual concerns, so that all workers are treated fairly within the workplace.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people at work face ignorance, prejudice and stigma because of mental health problems. Even more – who are both able and willing to work – cannot get a job if they have or have had a mental health problem because of discrimination by employers. This goes...
  • This booklet has been produced to help trade union shop stewards and activists get involved in workplace and community campaigns opposing fascist politics and extreme far right political parties.
  • This guide is aimed at union reps and employers who need advice on dealing with the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. It includes facts and figures about the prevalence of this crime, case studies, and advice on drawing up a workplace policy to address the key issues of...

Green Workplaces

Health and Safety

  • There is a interactive resource available for anyone who wants to consider how to make their workplace safer through building a strong union. Register to access the eNote Last year the TUC published a guide to organising and health and safety. It gave simple, straightforward advice to help you use...
  • Many union representatives will wish to ensure that those who are giving medical advice to either employees or employers on occupational health issues are suitable qualified. This short guide for employees and their representatives outlines the various qualifications that occupational health doctors may have and what they mean.
  • TUC guidance on checking whether your occupational health provider is accredited.
  • This guide introduces union health and safety represntatives to the problems of fatigue and how to prevent them
  • An effective union needs two things: the first is a strong membership within the workplace; the second is high membership involvement. By encouraging members to participate, much more can be achieved than if members expect the union to ‘sort things out’. This resource is designed to help you achieve more...
  • This briefing for safety representatives and union members gives advice on what to do in those parts of the country that are flooded to ensure the health and safety of employees.
  • Well-being’ has become one of the most over-used phrases in the English language. It helps sell anything from yoghurt to holidays, pillows to pills. For some people the phrase refers to levels of happiness, while others think of it as a healthy body and mind. There is even a national...
  • This is guidance for activists on reporting work-related violence
  • The TUC has produced guidance for safety representatives on dealing with Bullying at Work. It includes a sample survey form
  • The TUC has produced a guide to assist union workplace representatives to ensure that migrant workers are given full protection against hazards at work.
  • This briefing is for union representatives with members who may come into contact with weedkiller as part of their work.
  • .video-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 35px; height: 0; overflow: hidden; .video-container iframe { position: absolute; top:0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } } From January 2015 the Government will be providing a new voluntary service to workers that have been off work for four weeks through injury...
  • This is a guide for union representatives on the Government's referral service for those who are off work through sickness.
  • Although most workplaces have been smoke free for a number of years problems can still arise over the implementation of the current law, or the provision of smoking breaks. In addition there has been a marked increase in the use of electronic cigarettes, whose use is not regulated at present...
  • This report outlines the effects of the last four years of the governments deregulatory policies on health and safety on workers.
  • A guide for workplace representatives There is a higher proportion of older people in Britain now than at any time in recent history and it is likely to increase. At present one in every six people is over the age of 65, but by 2033 that is expected to rise...
  • In addition to these guides that are advertised on the TUC website, TUC Education have produced a range of publications and resources for training which may be of use to activists. https://www.tuceducation.org.uk/mod/page/view.php?id=56151
  • A simple guide to what the role means. Being a Health and Safety Representative [PDF]
  • Guidance for Safety Representatives Safety representatives can help prevent problems with PPE by ensuring that their employer consults with them over the type of PPE they buy. They can also check that any PPE that is provided is legal.
  • This booklet primarily deals with cancers caused through exposures that are a result of work.
  • Guidance for union health and safety representatives This new guidance outlines the case for stronger action against dust and shows that the current standards used for the assessment of dust exposure in the workplace are totally inadequate. This TUC publication says that there is now clear scientific evidence which suggests...
  • The TUC has produced a guide for safety representatives on feet and footwear. Many problems are caused by inadequate footwear. Work in any environment where there is a risk of slipping requires slip-resistant shoes. Where there is the risk of a shoe being crushed or hit by an object, or...
  • REACH is the Registration Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Regulations and is new Europe-wide legislation aimed at ensuring that chemicals are properly tested before going on the market.
  • It is common to hear stories of the “Compensation Culture” or claims that Britain is becoming “Risk Averse” as a result of people claiming compensation. The truth is very different. In this report the TUC examines 10 myths around compensation in the workplace – and suggests three simple ways of...
  • Maintenance work can be hazardous. Although it is estimated that 6% of the working population are involved in maintenance work (not always all the time), it is estimated that, throughout Europe, between 15 and 20% of injuries at work happen during maintenance work.
  • Guidance for Workplace Representatives
  • Guidance for Workplace Representatives
  • The TUC has published guidance for workplace representatives on behavioural safety, what it means, and how you should deal with it.
  • The concept of ‘good work' is not just about ensuring that jobs do not make people ill; it is about organising work in a way that actually promotes good physical and mental health. This is not a new idea, but in the UK there is no consensus about how exactly...
  • One of the main functions of a safety representative is to carry out inspections. This is a simple process but can be very important. Thsi guide will help you: Preparing for an inspection Carrying out an inspection Inspections after an incident Reporting problems after an inspection Union Inspection Notices (UINs)...
  • This guide gives information to health and safety representatives on what the law is and what they can do to ensure that their employer does not put the hearing of their workers at risk. Download Noise at Work guide [PDF]
  • Guidance for union representatives
  • TUC proposals for improving access to justice for claimants
  • The TUC believes that trade unions and employers, working together, can make a significant difference in ensuring that the effects of the pandemic are minimised, that the workforce are educated and informed on transmission issues, and in helping ensure there is no panic. Download Pandemic Flu Guidance for Unions [PDF]
  • Despite health and safety being a prime activity for unions, and one of the major reasons why workers want unions in their workplace, it is all too often seen as a specialist area and sometimes separate from other union activities. This guidance sets out to show how union organisers can...
  • An introduction to the topics of safety representatives and risk assessment. (From The TUC Workplace Manual)
  • A huge number of jobs can require people to be left alone and isolated. Many of the hazards that lone workers face are similar to those faced by other workers. However, the risks involved may be greater because the worker is on their own. A Guide for Safety Representatives
  • The TUC has produced this guide to risk assessment to ensure that safety reps have the necessary tools to ensure their employer has done a suitable risk assessment, as well as taken appropriate measures to implement the measures required. It should also help safety reps to challenge the employer if...
  • In recent years the Government have been encouraging employers to promote healthy lifestyles through the workplace and some employers have now started introducing policies aimed at encouraging their workforce to exercise or eat healthily. Where these are introduced in partnership with unions they have often been both successful and popular...
  • Ready to use checklist : How gender-sensitive is your workplace?
  • The TUC and HSE have produced a brief guide for safety representatives on asbestos and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006
  • This report looks at some of the myths around health and safety and finds out the true story.
  • The TUC has produced a new resource for use by branch safety officers, full time officers, and groups of safety representatives to help improve the organisation of health and safety in the workplace, recruit new safety representatives, and make safety committees more effective

Organising and Campaigning

  • The TUCJCC has developed this programme of work to ensure that trades union councils can identify their part in TUC campaigns and help implement the resolutions passed at the 2016 trades union councils conference.
  • Trades Union Councils and County Associations are an important part of the labour movement, bringing together activists at a grassroots level and representing the trade union movement to the broader community. All unions, affiliated to the TUC, are asked to circulate this directory to their union branches and encourage them...
  • Download the TUC's campaign aims for 2015. It comprises of new priorities under the existing five strands of jobs, pay, services, equality and union organising.
  • The TUC has developed a presentation slides of the results of polling we commissioned into attitudes around migration and labour market concerns. This has been developed for unions to use in their branches to develop ways to promote messages on migration based on solidarity and workers’ rights. The TUC has...

Workplace Learning

  • This interactive guide (eNote) is a short, self-study module about key migration issues. By completing this eNote you will: Identify common misconceptions regarding migration See the benefits that migrants bring to the workforce and the country as a whole See why it is important to tackle employers who exploit migrant...
  • This guidance aims to ensure work experience schemes are high quality and consistent with TUC principles. The TUC has developed a specific Charter relating to the Traineeships programme and this guidance expands on the key principles in the Charter. In the case of Traineeships this guidance should be read in...