PA Network Scotland

Support and Advice at Work for Personal Assistants

The role of Personal Assistant is unique as your employer is your supervisor, manager and HR officer all in one!  So what do you do if you experience a problem at work; your employer asks you to do something you don’t think is reasonable?

Your employer wants to change your contract? You are unhappy about something that happened at work and you don’t feel able to approach your employer?  Your employer has specific support organisations and even the SDS team at the local council or their care manager they can speak to for advice, but what is there for Personal Assistants?   Sometimes employers organisations will offer you general advice and may even mediate should things escalate – but they are employer’s organisations that are often user led and are set up to support employers.

If your employer claims you have done something wrong at work and want to discipline you – where would you get support and advice? ACAS provide some useful information on their website.

If you experience a problem at work, in the first instance we would advise you to speak to your employer where possible and explain you are unhappy as they may not know how you feel so must be given an opportunity to rectify the situation. Does your employer have a grievance procedure in place for you to raise an issue at work?

UNISON - the trade union for Personal Assistants

For continuous peace of mind and access to support & advice at work you could join a trade union.  UNISON has the largest membership in public services including health and social care and has members throughout Scotland and the UK who are Personal Assistants like you.  They have a telephone helpline opened until midnight most nights, a website with help and advice when you need it and access to training for members.  As well as being part of movement with workers just like you - there are many benefits to being in a trade union including access to support at work, discounts with partners organisations such as insurance and breakdown cover; and welfare for members including grants for heating in cold weather and  school uniforms. More information on UNISON.

And to join – simply click here and follow the instructions.

For information on current trade union campaigns check the link below where there is also a wealth of information on employment rights at TUC UK website.

In-depth Health & Safety at Work information.

General employment advice can also be found here at Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland information pages.

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A joint project by Workers Educational Association Unison Scottish Government