Talk to SWU Webinars

Talk to SWU logo

This free advice webinar series hosted by the Social Workers Union is a chance to talk directly with SWU about any work place issues you have been experiencing. In each session a panel of Trade Union Advice & Representation Officers along with a SWU Legal Advisor answer questions from social workers and social work students.

The webinar is set up so that questions can be asked anonymously.

Common questions asked by our members include:

  • Have your terms and conditions been changed/altered?
  • Have you been facing re-organisation?
  • Are you experiencing Bullying and Harassment?

All UK social workers and social work students are invited to attend and engage with this online advice and representation webinar series, regardless of membership status.

Follow SWU on social media to find out when the next Talk to SWU webinar will be announced. You can
watch recordings of previous Talk To SWU webinars below.*

*Please note the dates these webinars were recorded on as some information may now be out of date. If you are a BASW / SWU member and are unsure and require further advice, please contact the Advice and Representation team.

**You are entitled to telephone advice and telephone support from the first day of your SWU membership. You will be entitled to representation after the three-month qualifying period. Please note that to qualify for representation, the issue cannot have been a known pre-existing issue or active during this three-month qualifying period.

Talk to SWU recording from 29 March 2022
Hosted by SWU during World Social Work Month 2022


Topics we discussed during this session include:

  • Is there anything I can do about a negative reference given by employer?
  • Your rights with regards to a secondment for your development
  • Refused part-time working requests
  • Can menopause be considered a disability?
  • Mask wearing policies after the government has lifted COVID-19 restrictions
  • Do I have a say in the variation of my contract?
  • The timescale of completing a disciplinary or grievance investigation
  • Negotiating and serving a notice period
  • Is an agency worker who is working for a local authority and using an umbrella company considered employed or self-employed?
  • How can I support a colleague being bullied by a manager?
  • Being dismissed due to failing to pass my ASYE, but I have dyslexia and didn’t have the equipment / support I needed in place – do I have any rights to challenge my dismissal?

Talk to SWU recording from 3 November 2021


Questions asked and answered in this session include:

  • Is there any legal protection for people who experience the menopause?
  • I have dyslexia and have asked for readjustments but IT department don’t fully understand my
  • needs and it’s taking a long time – what can I do?
  • I am not taking the COVID-19 vaccine on health grounds – what can I do to protect myself and
  • those at work, and can my employer insist on me having the vaccine even though I’m not visiting
  • care homes?
  • Rights around flexible working hours if you have long Covid
  • Wanting to work part-time due to childcare arrangements
  • The difficulty of constructive dismissal cases

Talk to SWU recording from 7 July 2021


Questions we discussed during this session include:

  • I have a health condition that makes me exempt from wearing a face mask. My employer is
  • insisting that I wear one when I am in the office and has said that if I don’t, they will have to offer me an alternative job. Can they do this?
  • How do I start a Tribunal claim? What are the time limits? What is ACAS Early Conciliation?
  • Whistleblowing – what sorts of statements are protected? What is the right way to go about
  • making a protected disclosure? Can I go to the press?

Talk to SWU recording from 31 March 2021


Questions based on enquiries we received in early 2021 and covered during this session:

  • What is the difference between direct vs indirect discrimination?
  • What are the issues surrounding discrimination based on religious & philosophical beliefs?
  • My employer wants to make changes to my contract of employment – what are the legal protections?
  • Can my employer require me to be vaccinated against CV19? And: can my employer require me to work with someone who hasn’t been! Or won’t wear a mask?

Talk to SWU recording from 17 December 2020


Questions based on enquiries SWU has received that we discuss during the session:

  • “My employer has asked me to come to an investigation meeting, what should I do?”
  • “I’m returning to work after a period of sickness, and my employer isn’t being supportive”
  • “My employer has told me that we are going to have to change job role which may involve a change of location, what are my rights?”
  • “I feel like my manager is treating me differently to my colleagues – what should I do?”
  • “I’ve been told my job is up for TUPE. What does this mean?”