The Retail Book Association

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Complete our application form and get all the benefits of RBA membership.

Membership Information

Offers, discounts and details of how we help our members.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read our FAQ's.

Established in 1919

Why Join Us?

We hope and expect that you can go through your working life without having problems, but they can and do occur. It is at these times that membership of the Union is vital, as we do not look after non-members. One thing is for certain - if you are unfortunate to be faced with a problem at work, we will be there for you, making things better.

The RBA is a democratic organisation, and every member has a voice on issues concerning union policy, pay and conditions and the election of officials.

The main day-to-day activity of the union is in representing individual members in hundreds of hearings a year, covering warnings, dismissals, absence management meetings, and grievances.

The RBA works for you:

...and works harder than you would imagine!

Easy for us to say, but true, nevertheless.

Skilled and experienced Central Office staff & Officers are available 12 hours a day, seven days a week, to advise and represent members wherever they work.

The RBA’s volunteer force of elected Branch Representatives and Delegates also work tirelessly on behalf of members, in individual grievance and disciplinary casework, and on committees dealing with collective issues.
They are just like you, working full time or part time in retail; they know what life in retail is like, and without their work the union couldn’t function. They don’t do it for the money (it’s unpaid), they do it because they care, and they are truly the unsung heroes!

Application Form

Download your form:

We need a paper application form as it contains authorisation for subscriptions to be paid by bank standing order, or if you work for W H Smith or Waterstones , authorisation for us to receive subscriptions via deductions from your monthly salary.

Once completed , please post to us.

Once we have received and processed your application form, we will send you a new members welcome pack including your membership card and you can start taking advantage of your membership benefits.

Membership Benefits

Individual Representation
Collective Representation
Expert, Professional Advice
Established over 100 years
10% Discount on Legal Services
Free Accident Personal Injury Claims
Employment Legal Advice & Assistance
Fully Trained Representatives
National & Local Coverage
Advice for Family Members
Available 8am - 8pm, Seven days a week

Help When You Need It Most

Individual Representations

We accompany members in disciplinary and grievance hearings all over the country. We make sure that no member stands alone at such times, and we really do make a difference.

Health & Safety Focus

Collective Representation

Ensuring policies and procedures are maintained to look after the safety and health of our members and of any other persons such as non-members and customers on premises where we have members.

Member Offers & Discounts

In addition to the peace of mind your membership brings you for your employment, there are more exclusive benefits available to you and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you help with an issue that started before I became a member?

Unfortunately not, although it is still worth joining to cover any problems you may encounter in the future.

How much does membership cost?

Subscription costs depend on your salary, prices range from £3.75 to £16.99 per month.

Contact us to request the current rate for your section and wage.

What is a representative allowed to do when they accompany me?

Representatives are not just witnesses; they take an active part in meetings and hearings, and the only thing they cannot do is answer questions put directly to the employee by the employer.

What is collective representation?

Where membership numbers in a business are sufficient, we represent collectively, to be consulted or to negotiate the range of general terms and conditions at work.

What advice and assistance can I get when I'm a member?

We are able to advise and assist members on any work-related issue or concern - terms and conditions of work, contracts, discrimination, company policies covering holidays, absence, grievance & disciplinary procedures, and flexible working.

Can you help with an Employment Tribunal?

Yes, Legal advice and assistance is also provided to members for Employment Tribunal casework

What offers & discounts are available to me when I join?

Various discounts are available, see our offers and discounts page for up to date information

I have more than one job in this sector, will my membership cover more than one role?

We can cover you for more than one employer, but this will require an additional monthly subscription, please get in touch for details.

I have a family member with a work related issue, can you help?

General advice is free to close relations of members, representation depends upon membership, though!

I've had an accident at work, does my membership include personal injury claims?

Accidents at work, or travelling to and from work, are covered following 6 months membership, and for members’ immediate family too. We provide access to a very good firm of personal injury lawyers, RWK Goodman, who are successful in getting compensation for injury to members amounting to many hundred thousand pounds in all every year, and all of it goes to the person injured.

I had an accident over a year ago, does my membership still cover a personal injury claim?

Please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can get some basic information and advise you on the best course of action.

Got a question or need advice?

Maybe you're ready to join!