From time to time, we all experience an issue at work, sometimes its small and sometimes it’s beyond our scope and we need advice on moving forward.
Unichef is here to help in any way we can but often its best to do a bit of homework first before you contact us so that you save us time in explaining things in detail.
There are many links on our homepage that can give you very accurate help and advice before you feel the need to contact your Union.
Since the pandemic, Unichef still runs on a small team of support staff and it helps us enormously if we are not on telephone calls all day, therefor we SMS is a huge part of our routine and this helps us get quicker to your issues.
If you are emailing us, that’s fine but please NEVER send us documentation or try to explain what your issue is. It is much better and quicker if you let us ask the precise questions so that we can filter your grievance accordingly and escalate it quickly if necessary. 99% of all messages are answered within 24 hours, often sooner.
Most queries that we get can be sorted easily and quickly and having such a filter system means that we can spend more time on more serious matters.
You will always find us willing, friendly and supportive but please remember, we are also chefs and we call it the way it is, we have mountains of experience and if you’re in the wrong we will let you know, (as gently as we can).
Q: who owns Unichef?
A: if you are member reading this then you do? That's right, every member of Unichef owns a unique part of this very special Union, you are a member for life and your share in it remains until you resign.
Q: Can I sell my share?
A: No, the share (stake holding) is unique to you and cannot be transferred
Q: who is the boss of Unichef
A: Our current Executive Director is Brian Mcelderry an experienced International Executive Chef and businessman.
Q: What does he do?
A: Brian is there to ensure that Unichef stays financially sound and adheres to the Constitution (bible) of its members.
Q: Who does he answer to?
A: He is in charge of all day to day matters but answers to the Board of Directors who are the Members Representatives.
Q: Can Unichef help me with my work issues?
A: Of course, we have experienced councillors who can support you or direct you to the appropriate support network.
Q: Can Unichef be with me at a disciplinary hearing?
A: Unfortunately, no, but on most occasions (unless it is very serious) this isn’t needed or required as Union reps are normally there without involvement in the case. We can (if needed) attend remotely provided we have sufficient notice. As a case progresses, we may need to attend tribunals, court and case meetings but again this is rare.
Q: Can Unichef represent me in Disciplinary actions and Tribunals
A: Of course, we work just like a normal Union in many respects but with some important differences.
Q: What are the differences between Unichef and a “normal” Union.
A: Unichef is 100% owned by its member, it’s totally independent and completely non-political, and it is solely for chefs, there is no other Union quite like it.
Q: what happens to the money members pay?
A: All our funding and spending is tightly controlled and is overseen by the Board of Directors and the Government Ombudsman who are the “eyes and ears” of the Members. Unichef is a “not for profit” organisation and its main aim is to inspire, support, and educate and give a voice to chefs in the UK. Most of the finance is spent on making sure we have good core structure to our Union that we always have sufficient funds to meet its expenses and obligations. Thereafter the Directors have a say in how surplus funding (if any) can be spent on behalf of the members.
Q: What is a C.I.C?
A: Unichef is a Community Interest Company, similar to a Charity but without the restraints of a charity which allows us to work in the special way we do, it’s a mix between a charity and a business, ran as a Social Project but managed as a business.