Frequently asked questions

Can I join a trade union?

Yes. You have the right to:

  • Choose to join or not join a union
  • Belong to the union you choose, even if it’s not the one your employer usually negotiates with
  • Belong to more than one union

Your employer isn’t allowed to:

  • Use threats or bribery to influence your decision to join or leave a union
  • Dismiss you or choose you for redundancy because of your union membership
  • Treat you unfavourably because of your union membership or activities

How much does it cost?

Our fees range between £2.92 and £19.98 per month depending on your situation. You can pay by Direct Debit or directly via your pay. And you can cancel your membership at any time. You can view a breakdown of our membership fees here.

How do I join a trade union?

It is as simple as signing up to become a member  either online or through a paper form you can request from a workplace rep. You can contact our service centre if you have any questions or would rather join over the phone.

I’m not a member but I need help with a work problem, is it too late to join?

It’s never too late to join but the amount of help we can offer you depends on your issue and what stage it has reached.

Community benefits and services are only available to current, paying members of the union and, like many other unions, we have a pre-existing issue policy which means that we are only able to provide support for issues which began after the date of joining. Being a member means you can access our help and support with any issues at work that may come up in the future.

Nobody else is in a union at my workplace, can I still join?

Absolutely. There are plenty of benefits to being an individual member of Community, including getting access to advice and representation should you need it.

Once you’ve joined and discovered the many benefits of being a Community member you might want to tell your colleagues about it. And if they need convincing, it’s worth knowing that employees in unionised workplaces earn 14.8% more on average!

My boss is anti-union, what should I do?

You have a legal right to join a trade union and you don’t need to tell your employer that you are a union member. If you’re facing a grievance or disciplinary process you are entitled to be accompanied by a trade union representative. It’s entirely up to you, and only you. If you don’t want a union rep by your side you can still get advice about your situation from our Service Centre team.

What is union recognition?

Union recognition is when an employer agrees to negotiate with a trade union over the pay, terms and conditions of its employees. Some agreements between unions and employers go further to cover pensions, training and wider workplace issues.

It doesn’t look like you’ve got members in my sector, should I join?

We support workers right across the UK economy. Thousands of individuals are joining Community to get protected at work. Although we have larger groups of members in certain sectors, we can advise any worker on your rights at work and provide you with representation.

How soon after joining can I get help? Is there a qualifying period?

As long as any problem or issue you want us to help with didn’t begin before you joined, then you’re protected. If you have an issue that began before you joined the union, then we will most likely be unable to assist on anything relating to that issue.

Some of our wider benefits need a qualifying period of membership, for instance, our hardship fund and child benefit. Furthermore, our LifeChange benefit accrues the longer you are a member.

If I want to cancel my membership how much notice do I have to give?

You can cancel anytime and we’ll stop your membership. 

Which trade union should I join?

At Community, we are a modern trade union that works to protect and improve your working life and beyond. We are led by our members and their needs. It is our priority to protect our members’ livelihoods and jobs, as well as support the communities that our members are a part of. Find out more about why Community is the union for you, here.