Scottish Football Referees Branch - Public content

Prospect Scottish Football Referees

Union recognition in your workplace

What is union recognition?
Any worker can join a union and that union can support and represent them on an individual basis in their workplace. This can include attending grievance or disciplinary hearings. When an employer agrees to negotiate collectively with the
members of a union on issues such as worker’s pay and other terms and conditions, this agreement is called recognition of the union. The negotiations done on behalf of a group of workers are called collective bargaining.

How do we get recognition?
There are two ways for Prospect to gain recognition by the employer. The employer can do this on a voluntary basis, because we have told them that we have lots of members and they accept that the majority of their workers want
this to happen. If the employer is reluctant to recognise a union then it is possible to ‘force’ recognition using a formal legal process. This process, known as statutory recognition, limits the rights to negotiations on pay, hours and
holidays. Whichever way it happens the final outcome is the same, voluntary recognition is quicker, easier and more
harmonious for all involved.

How many members are needed for recognition?
We need to prove there is majority support for the process and the easiest way to do this is through demonstrating high
membership numbers. So if you are not already a member, join us today and help us spread the word among your coworkers.

What happens after recognition?
Following a successful recognition process, you, as members, will be able to influence future negotiations with the SFA. Prospect will work with you and help you to improve conditions in your workplace. Unionised workplaces have been shown to be fairer, safer, healthier and wealthier. Your voice is important and you will be able to say what concerns you and what you want to improve. We already know that referees are concerned about match fees and allowances, harassment, development, match appointments and grading of referees. 

Statutory recognition is limited to negotiation of pay, hours and holidays, however in many workplaces, Prospect has been able to negotiate wider recognition agreements that cover a fuller range of issues such as all terms and conditions, equality, pensions and learning.

Is Prospect the right union for me?

Prospect has represented professional workers since the early 20th century. Our values are those of our members. Prospect represents a growing number of sports professionals and we represent professional football referees and assistant referees in England, Wales and Scotland.

In England and Wales, Prospect's successes in Football include negotiating much improved contracts for Premier League Referees, improving the terms and conditions for Select Group Assistant Referees, negotiating employment contracts for those SGARs and some other referees and supporting members in winning a ground-breaking age discrimination case in an Employment Tribunal. We're also actively involved with Show Racism the Red Card and Women in Football.