Complain about Your Trade Union

You can complain to the Certification Officer about a trade union if you are a member.  

You might also be able to complain if you are not a member of a trade union, for example you are a candidate in an election run by a union.  

What you can complain about 

You can complain if you think the trade union has: 

  • broken its own rules, for example about holding elections or ballots 

  • broken laws on running trade unions, for example not holding a proper ballot on a proposed merger of trade unions or not providing access to accounting records 

You can also complain about trade union funds being used illegally or in a way that breaks the financial rules of the union, known as financial irregularities.  

You do not have to be a member of a trade union to complain about financial irregularities.  

The make a complaint guidance has a full list of the complaints you can make to the Certification Officer  

What you cannot complain about  

You cannot complain about what a union does for you, for example representing you if you are unfairly dismissed. You should get legal advice instead. 

Complain to your trade union first 

Talk to your trade union and try to resolve the problem with them before taking it to the Certification Officer. You can take your complaint further if you have been through all the steps in your trade union’s complaints procedure and you are still not satisfied. 

Complain to a court 

You might be able to take your trade union to court, for example for breach of contract if it breaks its own rules. You should seek legal advice before you do this. You cannot complain to the Certification Officer and the courts about the same problem. 

See also:  

For further information on complaining about your trade union please go to GOV.UK's website.