Can I join a union if I work for a charity?

Yes. A survey of charity workers calling the TUC’s “Know your rights” hotline found that the main reason for not joining a union was that they work for a charity and didn’t think they could.

This is not the case. Everybody at work in the UK has the right to join a trade union, and it is actually illegal for an employer to dismiss or disadvantage anybody, based on whether or not they are a trade union member.

The main unions for the sector are UNISON, Unite and the GMB. Use workSMART's Union Finder tool to see if there is already a union recognised where you work.

Working in partnership, unions can help underfunded and overstretched voluntary sector personnel departments to attract and keep a high quality workforce through improved conditions, staff participation and communication and training opportunities.