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Advance pride themselves on transparency and integrity.

This page explains how and why Advance Union (also referred to as “Advance”, “we”, “our”, and “us”) uses personal data about our members (referred to as “you”).

It would help you read this privacy notice to understand how we use your data. Please also read any other privacy notices we may issue in the future.

We may update this privacy notice from time to time to reflect changes to the type of personal data that we process and how it is processed. We will update you on material changes to this notice by communicating this through updates on the Advance Website email or in our magazine. We also encourage you to check this page from time to time.

Advance’s data protection responsibilities

“Personal data” is any information that relates to an identifiable natural person. Your personal data includes your name, address, contact details, Employee Number, etc. In addition, information that combined allows your identification may also amount to your data, such as your first name and job title.

At Advance Union, we respect everyone’s right to privacy and want to keep your data private if you use our services. This policy sets out what you can expect from Advance Union in how we collect and use any data about you.

This policy reflects our duties under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and all applicable Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations. It describes how we use personal data fairly, keeps it secure, makes sure it’s accurate and upholds your rights as a data subject.

This policy does not apply to other organisations we may link and whose privacy policies may differ.

Please read the following policy to understand how Advance Union will treat your personal information. It may change from time to time, so please check back periodically. It was last updated on July 20

Who are we?

Advance Union is the data controller for the information you provide. Our HQ address is:

Advance Union
16/17 High Street


HP23 5AH

Advance Union’s Data Controller is Linda Rolph. You can contact Linda at

Advance Union’s Data Protection Officer is Keith Hoyland, who You can contact at

Your rights as a data subject

You have rights as a data subject. These rights are:

  1. The right to be informed– this means we must tell you how we’re going to use your data. We do this through this privacy policy and by telling you how Advance Union will use your data each time we collect it.
  2. The right of access– you have the right to access your data (e.g. data about you) under a subject access request. To request access to your data, please e-mail It’s beneficial if you tell us what of your data you’re seeking. We must respond to your request within one month.
  3. The right to rectification– if you think the data we hold on you is incorrect, let us know so we can put it right. You can do this by logging in to and contacting the Advance Union office on 01442 891122.
  4. The right to erasure – you have the right to request that we delete your data. We will do so, provided we do not have a compelling reason to keep it. To request this, please e-mail
  5. The right to restrict processing– you can change your communication preferences (therefore restricting how we communicate with you) by logging in to, contacting Advance Union office on 01442 891122. There are also other circumstances where you can suppress the processing of your personal data. To request this, please e-mail
  6. The right to data portability– you can obtain and reuse your data across different services, such as unions. To request this, please e-mail
  7. The right to object– you have the right to object to:
    1. We’ve shared your data with direct marketing from Advance Union or third parties for direct marketing purposes. You can opt-out of direct marketing anytime by logging in to and contacting the Advance Union office on 01442 891122. Instructions on how to unsubscribe will also be included in any direct marketing message we send to you.
    2. Any processing where our lawful basis is a legitimate interest. If you’d like to object to any of our legitimate interest processing formally, please e-mail
  8. Rights concerning automated decision-making and profiling. Advance Union do not have any automated decision-making or profiling tools. If that ever changes, this policy will be updated by Advance Union directly.

At Advance Union, we’re committed to upholding your rights as a data subject. If you think we’ve not done so, please contact How we deal with complaints is set out later in this policy, including your right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The types of data we collect

We may collect a variety of personal data from you as part of your membership with us or through interacting with us through our website or online chat facility. This could include:

  • Your IP address and how you use our website
  • Data on how you respond to e-mails that we send
  • Your name
  • Contact details, phone number, e-mail address, postal address
  • Your employer and employment details
  • Your union membership
  • Equality monitoring information
  • Roles that you fulfil (e.g. Advance Union rep)
  • Responses to surveys
  • Attendance at one of our events or conferences

How Advance Union uses your data

We routinely use your data for the following purposes:

  • Registering you as an Advance Union member, including enabling you to retrieve a partially completed application
  • Contacting you about your membership and essential trade union activities
  • Representing you effectively
  • Meeting our legal obligations as a trade union
  • Acting following the Advance Union Rules
  • Monthly subscription draw

The lawful basis for this processing is Advance Union pursuing our legitimate interests as a trade union. We may also use legitimate interest as our legal basis for the following data processing:

  • Holding your data on our membership database
  • Processing your subscription payment
  • Confirming your identity when you contact us
  • Sending you statutory communications (these are communications that, as a trade union, we have to send you by law)
  • Sending you the quarterly membership magazine
  • Ensuring you have a vote in all Advance Union elections and ballots that you’re eligible to vote in
  • Ensuring that you’re represented through Advance Union’s democratic processes – such as our biennial delegate conference
  • Member representation (this could be representing you individually or collectively) and casework
  • Booking you on to any trade union courses you want to attend and ensuring accessibility
  • Equality monitoring
  • Statistical analysis of our membership and employers, and workplaces

Our websites also use cookies; you can find out more about this on our cookies policy page.


There are some types of data processing that we only do if you’ve given us your consent. These are:

  • Sending direct marketing messages by e-mail/post/phone / SMS, including the quarterly magazine, newsletters, member surveys and information about membership benefits

You are in control of what consent you give us. You can withdraw your consent anytime by logging in to, contacting Advance Union HQ on 01442 891122, or contacting your local workplace representative. There’ll also be instructions on how to unsubscribe included in any direct marketing message we send to you.

Statutory data requirements

As a trade union, we must keep an accurate register of members’ names and addresses. If you wish to be an Advance Union member, you must provide this information to us.

Changes to your personal information

If your information changes or you find that any of the information that we hold about you is inaccurate, please advise us of the relevant changes as soon as possible:

  • by logging into your online profile and changing it yourself
  • by e-mail to
  • by phone on 01442 891122
  • by post to Advance Union, 16/17 High Street Tring, HP23 5AH. Please clearly state any changes that you require.

Data collected on our website

Advance Union will only use personal data collected by our website for the purposes (or closely related purposes) for which 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
  • Deal with enquiries and complaints made by you relating to the website

Data security

Advance Union uses industry-standard efforts to safeguard the confidentiality of your personally identifiable information, such as firewalls and SSL (secure socket layers). We try to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the 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 choose to update and manage your details via the Advance Union website, your Advance Union membership information is accessible via a password-protected system. It is your responsibility to prevent others from accessing this link – for this reason, we do not recommend you forward this e-mail to anybody else.

Sharing your data with third parties

By third parties, we mean organisations that are not Advance Union.

We share your information with third parties such as:

  • Mailing houses that print and send our communications to you, e.g. our quarterly member magazine
  • Providers of membership benefits
  • Returning officers (who ensure our elections are run relatively) and scrutineers (who count the votes when we ballot)
  • Clear Course Membership – provision membership relationship management service
  • Go Cardless- to ensure we can collect your subscription fees by direct debit.

When we share your data, we only share the minimum required for the data processing (for example, if the purpose is to send you a mailing by post, we wouldn’t share your e-mail address with the mailing house because they don’t need it). We also ensure that processes are in place to transfer data to third parties securely.

The third parties we share data with are:

For all Advance Union members:

  • Menzies Distribution – the mailing house that prints and sends our magazine
  • Popularis – the organisation that acts as scrutineer for some of our elections and returning office for our ballots

For some Advance Union members, depending on the membership benefits and services that you choose to access:

  • Your employer – if you choose to pay your subscriptions via payroll deduction. Please note that if you do not want us to disclose your Advance Union membership to your employer, you can pay your subscriptions by Direct Debit. We may also use the information your employer provides us to keep our records up to date. This will only be organisational data and not more personal information. If we exchange any data with your employer, we ask for your consent, and you can revoke this at any time by updating your preferences.s If you decide not to provide your consent, it will remain your responsibility to update Advance Union if any of your data changes (such as your Grade, Division or Job family).
  • Our legal providers (Thompsons Solicitors – if Advance Union refers to a case in which you are involved for legal advice)
  • Sparkpost – if you are opt-in to e-mail communications from Advance Union. This is the company we use to send electronic mailings.
  • Microsoft or Clearcourse membership services – if you participate in member surveys.
  • Member benefit providers (The Advance Union Travel Club, Perk Jam, ) – if you are opt-in to receiving information about membership benefits from third parties.

We occasionally share personal data with organisations that detect or prevent crime, such as the police, where we have a legal obligation to do so.


We use tracking technology on all e-mails we send to any subscription lists you may prefer to receive. This helps us to ensure that you only receive e-mails from us that are of interest to you. You can unsubscribe from e-mails anytime by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of an e-mail.

If you supply your work e-mail address for us to contact you in all cases, then we are happy to communicate with you using that account. Please do familiarise yourself with your employer’s policies, as they may have the right to monitor and view your e-mails (Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted items etc.) in certain circumstances.

Saving progress on online applications

We use your e-mail address as the unique identifier for this process. When you save an application, We will handle your details in line with this policy with the following exceptions. We will retain your saved application for 30 days, after which we will wipe all data. You can return to your application any time during this period using the link provided to the e-mail address you registered on the application.

We use tracking technology to provide you with the facility to return your partially completed application form. Our membership team will be notified when you save progress on an application and may contact you after 30 days if we have not received a completed application. We will not contact you further in connection with this unless you ask us to do so.


Advance Union may store data on our website 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, Advance Union uses cookies to improve our users’ experience. When you first access our site, we ask if you’re happy for cookies to be used. If you choose not to use cookies, it may be challenging to use some parts of our website.

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

External web services

We sometimes use external web services on the Advance Union website to display content within our web pages. For example, we may use Flickr or show videos to display images. We may 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.

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

Market research

You may be contacted and invited to participate in market research activities by third-party organisations acting on Advance Union’s behalf. While such research helps us to get valuable feedback on how we work well and where we can get better – and as such, your participation is beneficial and always appreciated – you are not obliged to participate in such research. If you don’t want to, let the researcher know.

Transfers overseas and safeguards

By providing us with your data, you agree that we may transfer, store and process your information outside of the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) when necessary. While we don’t routinely transfer your data outside of the UK, it may be necessary to do so to provide specific member services. We require any service provider handling your data to keep it safe and secure in Advance by GDPR requirements.

Retention of data

Retention means how long we keep your data. We do this in Advance accordance with Advance Union’s data retention policy. This includes:

  • Application form – retained for the duration of active membership, then securely destroyed six months after membership lapses
  • Membership record – kept for up to six years after membership lapses, then deleted from the database
  • Case files – retained for six years after the case is closed, then securely destroyed

If you’d like to know more or see Advance Union’s full data retention policy, please e-mail

Accessing your personal data within Advance Union

Some of your data will be available to Advance Union’s employees, seconded officials, workplace representatives and others formally instructed by Advance Union to carry out trade union duties.

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

How to complain

If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at

You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113
ICO website: