Affinity represents people in sectors ranging including banking and finance, accountancy, retail, manufacturing, education, the law, hospitality and travel and tourism.

Our members include teachers, bank staff, IT consultants, financial advisers, academics, local government staff, lawyers and civil servants: the list is endless.

But wherever they work and whatever they do many of the problems they face tend to be very similar.

Issues we deal with regularly include:

  • Disciplinary action and unfair dismissal
  • Grievances
  • Pre-employment scrutiny of contracts
  • Work Location changes
  • Appraisal and balanced scorecard
  • Working time/changes in working hours disputes
  • Contract disputes
  • Flexible working requests
  • Redundancy and job security
  • Performance improvement
  • Sickness absence

The Advice Service provided by Affinity is completely confidential, and with Affinity you will always have someone on your side when you need it most.


You have a statutory legal right to be accompanied by a union representative of your choice at all formal meetings with your employer, including grievance and disciplinary hearings. Affinity’s advisers are able to represent you at these meetings, so you have professional advice on hand and are supported every inch of the way. If appropriate, Affinity will prepare your case for the Employment Tribunal and our lawyers will represent you.

When faced with a disciplinary charge or an important grievance everyone needs an advocate. People who think they can represent themselves in an area as complex as employment law really are asking for trouble when most employers employ HR professionals backed up by a legal team. And the idea of getting advice from a lawyer, who won’t be allowed to represent you anyway, at about £300 to £400 per hour, is a bit fanciful.

Last year across the Union we supported over 2,500 members in cases of all different types and everyone was represented by an Affinity Official.

If your job’s on the line you need to know you’re going to be represented by professionals. It would be an unequal fight without someone on your side with the expertise to look after you and, just as important, the independence and willingness to fight your corner.

To contact the Advice Team about representation phone 01234 716005 or email

Terms and Conditions

Professional representation on employment issues can be complex, demanding and very expensive so we ask members to work closely with us to help ensure successful outcomes to their cases.

For that reason representation is subject to terms and conditions governing the basis on which we will provide representation and our obligations and the obligations of members in terms of disclosure of facts, confidentiality, responding to communications etc.

Legal Action

The rules and law governing legal action in employment matters and in particular Employment Tribunal claims, is complex and some cases have no reasonable prospect of success, even with a determined legal challenge.

However, in other cases legal action is the only realistic option to get a fair outcome for members and in those cases we will advise them to pursue legal claims.

Before we advise members to pursue any legal action and are prepared to support cases, we analyse those cases very carefully to ensure they have reasonable prospects of success and will not leave members at risk of costs orders against them, ordering them to pay their employers’ legal costs. The Union therefore reserves the right not to support claims at the Employment Tribunal or any other court where we believe claims lack sufficient merit.

Members who may want our support must therefore not launch any form of legal action without prior consultation with us and before receiving our written agreement to support their cases. If they do we will decline any support. Where we agree to support a claim we will carry out all necessary work.

Injuries At Work

Regrettably, injuries in the workplace occur regularly, even in office environments.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, in 2022/23 135 workers died, with a fatal injury rate of 0.41 deaths per 100,000 and an estimated 561,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries at work.

Of those injuries: 437,000 led to up to 7 days absence from work; and 124,000 led to over 7 days absence.

So, the problem’s obvious and if you’re unfortunate to join these statistics you’ll need professional advice to safeguard your rights and gain compensation.

Members involved in accidents should contact Affinity as soon as possible after the accident to seek advice. We will be able to advise you on whether legal action is justified.

If necessary Affinity will issue legal proceedings on your behalf, not only to win compensation for the injuries sustained but also to ensure that action is taken to prevent the same or similar accidents occurring again.

For help phone 01234 716005 or email

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