Unite the Union is committed to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of members, potential members and our website visitors. This policy sets out how we will treat your personal information.
Unite the Union is the “Data Controller” of your personal data; our Head Office address is:-
Unite the Union, 128 Theobald’s Road, London, WC1X 8TN
Reference to personal data may include any information which directly or indirectly identifies you. This may include: your name, address, contact details, date of birth, National Insurance number and bank details.
The personal data you supply to us will be held in electronic and/or manual format.
The processing of personal data by Unite the Union will be in line with the Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This policy reflects our duties to use information fairly, keep it secure, make sure it is accurate and keep it up to date.
Please read the following policy to understand how your personal information will be treated. It may change from time to time, so please check back periodically. It was last updated in November 2022.
1. How Unite uses your personal data as a member
General information about Unite’s use of your data and how we may contact you
All information that Unite the Union holds concerning you as an individual (your personal data) will be held and processed in accordance with the provisions of the GDPR.
We collect and may process your personal data as a member for the following purposes:
1. the administration and management of your membership records
2. to provide you with information and updates about Unite the Union’s activities, campaigns, benefits and services
3. to notify you of changes to our services and benefits
4. to determine eligibility for and administer benefits
5. to conduct elections and ballots
6. to administer branch and other meetings (as well as meetings of any committee or conference within the union to which you may be elected or a delegate)
7. to provide you with support, assistance, advice and/or representation in an individual or collective case
8. to process your membership subscription payments
9. for equality monitoring when provided by you. The provision of equality monitoring information is not compulsory, but providing this will allow Unite to accurately monitor our membership diversity and to take appropriate action to ensure that women, BAEM, disabled, LGBT+ and migrant workers are fully represented within the union.
10. to comply with legal requirements
11. to conduct research surveys
12. to provide Unite training courses and education
13. to deal with enquires and complaints
14. for other trade union related purposes, objects or activities, including those set in Unite's Rule Book.
We will keep your personal data confidential and will take appropriate measures to protect it against loss, theft or misuse and to safeguard your privacy.
By joining Unite you should understand that we may use some or all of the personal data you have provided for the above purposes. Where other purposes apply, we will notify you when you provide your data.
The primary basis upon which Unite process members’ personal data is it is necessary for the legitimate interests of a trade union. Unite’s legitimate interests are broadly defined in our Rule Book and policy decisions, which includes the interests of you as an individual member and/or of members or the union generally.
Certain processing is also carried out because it is necessary to comply with the law, including the requirement that trade unions keep an accurate register of members’ names and addresses. If you wish to be a member, you must provide this information to us.
Unite the Union may contact you at your home address, by telephone, SMS or email. You can change how we communicate with you at any time by visiting the MyUnite website or by contacting your Regional Office to do this for you. We respect and will follow your communication preferences as far as possible when making any contact with you. There are however certain mandatory communications that we must send you for the purpose of your union membership including those (if applicable) relating to statutory ballots or elections, your union subscription payments, collective bargaining or collective consultation, legal claims and, if necessary, invitations to branch or workplace meetings. You are not able to opt-out of receiving these mandatory communications.
Sharing of information
Unite the Union will not disclose any of your personally identifiable information to any third party unless they are processing data on the union’s behalf, we have your consent, to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim and/or we are required to do so by law.
Unite shares some member information with carefully selected third parties, who carry out trade union related data processing activities on Unite’s behalf, including:-
- Ballot and election administration, as required by law
- Maintaining and updating membership information
- IT systems support
- Print and/or processing of authorised postal and/or electronic communications from Unite regarding the union’s objects, services, benefits, campaigns, policies or other matters relating to your membership of Unite, or as required by law
- Email/web platforms and surveys
- Operating the Unite Helpline
We have contractual, technical, organisational and security measures in place to protect members’ data.
Unite will normally also share necessary personal data with either your bank or employer, depending on the method by which you chose to pay your membership subscriptions, in order to process your subscription payments according to the payment method you consented to. This applies to your bank if you pay by direct debit or your employer if you pay by check-off. You can change your subscription payment method at any time by contacting your Regional Office.
Where members join the Labour Party as affiliated trade union members and consent to this, we will share necessary data with the Labour Party in order to verify your trade union membership.
2. How we may use your information as a visitor to the website or as a potential member
Personal data submitted on this website will only be used for the purposes (or closely related purposes) that it was collected.
We may use your personal information to:
- administer the website;
- improve your browsing experience by personalising the website;
- enable your use of the services available on the website;
- send you email notifications which you have specifically requested;
- deal with enquiries and complaints made by or about you relating to the website;
- conduct surveys that you complete;
- add the details provided by you to petitions, open letters and/or emails that you sign up to;
- for the purpose of direct marketing if you have requested information on a particular service.
In the event that you are a potential member applying for membership we will in addition process your data for the purpose of progressing your application for membership. If you enter personal data on our join online application form but do not complete your membership application, we will retain your information for 28 days for statistical analysis and to send you information about Unite membership by email where you consent to this.
Any personal data provided by you on any social media or other external website or service (including any that you link to from this website) will be subject to and governed by the privacy notice and policies of the organisation that operates the relevant platform/website.
Privacy and cookies
We will collect your personal data that you give to us for the purposes (or closely related purposes) for which you give it to us. Some information is gathered when you join or sign up to receive email updates.
We will collect information about your tastes and preferences, both when you tell us and by analysis of customer traffic, including using "cookies".
A cookie is a piece of information that is stored on your computer's hard drive. It is normally sent by a web server to you and enables the server to collect information back from your site visit.
Our cookie statement explains which cookies we use and why, along with where you can find more information about cookies.
3. How we may use the information you supply as a rep or member for a Unite Training Session or Education Course
- The personal details that you provide on training or education booking forms will be used by Unite to enroll you on the relevant education course or training session (where spaces permit) and to contact you with relevant information about the training.
- When you sign up for training, you will be advised what information is required (usually marked with an asterisk), and what is optional.
- Unite will also keep a record of the training you attend on your membership record to help track your learning and progress, and to communicate about courses you might be interested in.
- Where the training is provided or verified by a college, the TUC or another external education provider, your information will be shared with Unite’s trusted education partner to allow them to facilitate the training and award qualifications or certificates (if applicable).
- Where the course or training session is run virtually/online, your data may be processed by Zoom or another video conference service used by Unite to host the training and/or send the log-in details.
- Any special category health information provided by you regarding adjustments for training/education courses will be used for the purpose of arranging and delivering this training/course only. The provision of this information is not compulsory and it will not be stored on your membership record – you can review and update the disability status on your membership record on the MyUnite website, should you wish to. Any adjustment information provided by you will be shared with the course tutor and/or external education provider (if applicable and necessary to facilitate).
- Any dietary requirements will be shared with the catering provider (if applicable and necessary to facilitate).
Storage of data
We will keep your personal data only for the period necessary to enable us to fulfil the purpose(s) for which we collected it, to comply with our legal obligations and/or whilst we maintain a legitimate interest in retaining it.
We do not routinely transfer your data outside of the UK or the European Economic Area. Where this is necessary, we ensure appropriate data protection measures are in place.
Your rights as a data subject
You have rights as a data subject. These rights are:
1. The right of access – you have the right to access your personal data that we have kept on record. This is called a subject access request. To request access to your data, please email [email protected]. It is very helpful if you tell us what data you are seeking when writing to us.
2. The right to rectification – you have the right to correct any personal data we hold about you that is incorrect or incomplete. You can do this by visiting the MyUnite website https://myunite.unitetheunion.org or by contacting your Regional Office to do this for you.
3. The right to erasure – in certain circumstances, you can ask for personal data we hold about you to be erased from our records. If you request this we will tell you if it is possible to delete the information. To request this, please email [email protected].
4. The right to object to and/or restrict processing – you can change your communication preferences (therefore restricting how we communicate with you and process your data) by logging in to the MyUnite website https://myunite.unitetheunion.org or by contacting your Regional Office to do this for you. Please however note that there are certain mandatory communications that we must send you for the purpose of your union membership and that cannot therefore be opted out of. Email communications from Unite that are not mandatory, will include an unsubscribe link and/or instructions on how to unsubscribe within the email. There are also certain other circumstances in which you can restrict the use of your personal data. To request this, please email [email protected].
5. The right to data portability – in some circumstances, you can get a copy of the personal data we hold about you in an electronic format that can easily be re-used and ask us to transfer this (where feasible) to another organisation. To request this, please email [email protected] .
6. The right to withdraw consent – you have the right to withdraw consent to our processing your information at any time if consent is the basis we rely on, however we may continue to process your information if we have another legitimate basis for doing to.
7. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling – Unite doesn’t apply any automated decision making or profiling to membership data. If that ever changes, this policy will be updated.
If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or would like to exercise any of the above applicable data protection rights, you can do this by contacting our Data Protection Officer at [email protected] or by post at the following address:-
Data Protection Officer
Unite the Union
128 Theobald’s Road
Unite are committed to your data protection and upholding your data rights. If you think we have not done so, please contact [email protected]
You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office or, if your branch is located outside of the UK, the Supervisory Authority of the Country in which it is based.
Amending this policy
We may amend this policy at any time by posting a revised version on the website.