BVA decides that new members will only have access to legal advice for first three months of membership, after which full access to other services is granted.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has announced it is to tighten its eligibility requirements for its wider legal services.
According to the association, access to the services will be tightened to exclude pre-existing employment disputes and disputes that occur within the first three months of membership.
The new rules will apply to new and rejoining BVA members from November 1 (2013), and means that for the first three months of membership, new joiners will have access to the BVA legal advice line only, with full access to all legal services unlocked for new employment issues three months into their membership. However, existing members will still have access to the full range of the association’s legal services including mediation, legal representation for employees and employment law/HR service for employers.
BVA president Peter Jones said the decision to readjust the rules followed feedback from members who felt the full range of legal services “should not be accessible immediately on joining the BVA”.
“We are keen to ensure our long standing members are not disadvantaged by those joining the BVA for a limited period, solely to use these services,” he said. “Our legal services are there to support members through tough times, and while we hope they never have to need them, the best way of protecting themselves is to retain BVA membership throughout their veterinary career.”
The availability of such services acts as “a kind of loyalty award” for consistent members, he said.
“With no similar service on the market when we launched the extended legal services in 2010, we felt we needed to be more open and support all members, including those with pre-existing employment disputes,” said Mr Jones. “Now that the services have been running for a few years, and the profession knows about them, we feel it is appropriate to limit them to those who consistently support us with their membership.
“We are informing all of our existing members of the change and non-members might just want to use this chance to join us before the implementation date.”
For more information, visit the BVA’s website.