Privacy policy

Privacy policy

Privacy policy

UNISON is committed to safeguarding the privacy of our website visitors and people using our services; this policy sets out how we will treat your personal information.

The policy reflects our duties under the Data Protection Act to use information fairly, keep it secure, make sure it is accurate and keep it up to date.. This policy does not apply to other organisations to which we may link and whose privacy policies may differ.

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.

How UNISON uses your personal data

General information about UNISON’s use of your data and how we may contact you

All information that UNISON holds concerning you as an individual (your personal data) will be held and processed strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act.

Such data will be used by UNISON to administer your membership record and our relationship with you as a valued member, and to provide you with information about UNISON’s activities and for other trade union related purposes.

We will not, without your consent, supply your details to any third party except where:

  • such transfer is a necessary part of the activities that we undertake, or
  • we are required to do so by operation of law.

By joining UNISON you are agreeing that UNISON may use some or all of the personal data you have provided for trade union related activities. These activities include:

  • keeping your membership record up to date and accurate
  • ballots
  • elections
  • other activities related to being a member of a trade union, for details, please see the UNISON Rule Book

From time to time, where appropriate, and as a necessary part of our activities as a trade union, we may request personal data (usually in relation to your subscription payments) from your employer to ensure that the information we hold on you is accurate and up to date.

UNISON may contact you at your home address, by telephone, SMS, fax or email. You can change your communication preferences on line, visit My UNISON.

How we may use your information

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;
  • for the purpose of direct marketing if you have opted in to a particular service.

Sharing of information

We may disclose information about you to any of our employees or agents, insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes as set out in this privacy policy.

UNISON will not disclose any of your personally identifiable information to any third party unless we have your permission, or under special circumstances, such as when we believe in good faith that the law requires it.

Sharing your personal data within UNISON

Some of your personal data will be available to UNISON’s employees, full time officers, branch officials, workplace representatives and others formally instructed by UNISON for the purposes of carrying out trade union duties.

The type of personal data shared will be relevant to the purpose for which the data is used, so for example, unless you have expressly asked us not to, work place representatives will be given your workplace contact details.

Sharing your personal data with UNISON’s third party providers

Where a third party organisation is carrying out trade union related data processing activities on UNISON’s behalf UNISON may share an appropriate level of personal data with them. Organisations include those carrying out:

  • ballots administration
  • elections administration
  • legal advice and support
  • IT systems support

Sharing your personal data with UNISON’s affinity partners

UNISON wishes you to receive details of benefits offered by or in conjunction with our affinity partners. The affinity partners are organisations with close links to UNISON that share our ambition to provide you with the best possible range of benefits.  We will only share you data with our partners if you have given us permission to do so.  To change your preferences (so that you do/do not receive such information) visit My UNISON.


Updating membership records and email subscriptions online

To ensure that we can communicate with you effectively as a valued member it is important that the contact details we have for you are up to date.  You can make sure that your contact details are accurate, and amend them as necessary, by logging into: My UNISON.

You can also make sure that your marketing preferences are as you wish them to be.  Your preferences allow you to decide what you would like us to keep you up to date with by email – our latest campaigns, how you can become more involved in UNISON etc.


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.


All emails that we send you are tracked.  This helps us to ensure that you only receive emails from us that are of interest to you.  You can unsubscribe from emails at anytime by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of an email.  Any request to unsubscribe will take effect immediately.


When online data may be stored on a “cookie”. This is a tiny element of data that our site can send to your browser, which may then be stored on your hard drive. This small amount of information does NOT contain any private information stored on your computer.

Like most websites, UNISON’s uses cookies to improve our users’ experience.  We ask when you first access our site if you are happy for cookies to be used. If you choose not to use cookies, it may be difficult to use some parts of our website.

Our cookies policy explains which cookies we use and why, along with where you can find more information about cookies.

Social media buttons

On many of the pages of the site you will see ‘social buttons’. such as share buttons for Twitter, and Facebook ‘Like’ buttons.

When you click on any of these buttons, these sites will be registering that action and may use that information to improve their services.

You should check the respective policies of each of these sites to see how exactly they use your information and to find out how to opt out, or delete, such information.

External web services

We use a number of external web services on the UNISON site, mostly to display content within our web pages. For example, to display images we sometimes use Flickr; to show videos we use YouTube. This is not an exhaustive or complete list of the services we use, or might use in the future, when embedding content, but these are the most common.

As with the social buttons, these sites may use information about usage of embedded content. If you are not logged in to these external services, then they will not know who you are but are likely to gather anonymous usage information e.g. number of views, plays, loads etc.

Our security

UNISON uses industry standard efforts to safeguard the confidentiality of your personally identifiable information, such as firewalls and SSL (secure socket layers). We make every effort to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of information under our control. However, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.

If you have elected to use the “Join online’ service, your UNISON membership information is password protected so that only you can access it and view the member information relative to your account. Ultimately, you are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your passwords. We also do everything in our power to protect your information off-line and only authorised personnel can view your data.


Access to your personal data – placing a subject access request (SAR)

As an individual, you have a right under the Data Protection Act to request copies of the information that have about you (your personal data). These are called subject access requests (SARs).

There is £10 fee is for processing SARs – this is mandatory no matter what you are seeking or the amount of information that we are able to give you in response to it.  The fee can either be paid by cheque or postal order made payable to UNISON.

Please bear in mind the following when filling a subject access requests:

  • It is very helpful if you say what of your personal data you are seeking.
  • We will, however, always provide everything that we can in response to a request. However there may be information that which we consider to be exempt from disclosure in response to a SAR – for example legal advice – which will not be provided in response to requests.

Data protection queries can be sent to UNISON’s Data Protection & Information Officer, Jess Trevitt in the following ways: 

Post: UNISON. UNISON Centre, 130 Euson Road, London, NW1 2AY