The Retail Book Association

Members Area

Join Today

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.

RBA Members

Established in 1919

Retail & Service Sector Trade Union

The RBA belongs to you and those of your colleagues who are also members. Its only purpose is to look after your interests at work - whether collective issues such as improvements to your contractual terms and conditions or Health & Safety at work or in individual concerns, such as accidents, grievances or disciplinary issues. We have thousands of members in Retail shops throughout the United Kingdom. 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.

As a member you have access to various benefits for both yourself and family members, keep reading to find out more.

Membership Benefits

The RBA’s strengths:

  • High levels of membership in the Companies with which it negotiates.
  • Long established negotiating procedures.
  • Ability to provide a fast and efficient personal service to all our 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. Whilst we have fully trained and dedicated local Reps and District Delegates, you are also able to contact a full time Officer at any time, one of our team is on call twelve hours a day, seven days a week. If you have a question or query of any sort, you can contact Central Office by calling 0333 050 7886 where we will be happy to deal with your call.

Consultation on all work-related issues

Individual Representation

Countrywide network of trained Representatives

Free legal assistance on all accident claims

10% discount on other legal services

Advice for family members

Negotiations and consultation with your employers at national and local level

Professional advice and assistance on all queries relating to employment

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.

Health & Wellbeing:


The RBA is committed to challenging any bully – particularly in order to prevent mental ill health, rather than to spot the signs when it may already be too late.

Health & Wellbeing:


An article from John Threadgold, RBA Non-Executive Officer, on his experiences coping with depression.

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.

Rule Book

You may wish to read the RBA's Rule Book, which covers the union's constitution and contract between members and the Union.

Got a question or need advice?

Maybe you're ready to join!