Support  for our members

Whether you're studying to become a vet or planning to retire, BVA offers support at every step

As a BVA member you have access to:

Free legal support services

We understand that legal disputes can be costly and stressful. That’s why we've sourced free legal support for our members as part of their membership package.

Legal services include:

Access to the legal services

New members, including lapsed members who are re-joining the association, can no longer access our wider legal services if they have pre-existing employment disputes or disputes that occur within their first three months of membership.

    • Free legal helpline

      BVA members can access a free legal advice line 24 hours a day, 365 days, a year to speak to a team of specialist legal advisors about any professional or personal subject.

      If you are member please log in to view the helpline number.

      All calls require your BVA membership number.

      They can guide you in the right direction by giving professional and completely confidential advice on issues including:

      • contracts of employment
      • maternity rights
      • working time regulations
      • boundary disputes

      The majority of issues are resolved using the free legal helpline. However, if it becomes clear that further action is required the legal advice line will refer the case to a partner that BVA have engaged to provide support to our members.

      The details of your case will be considered and our partner will then contact you directly with confirmation that your case will be taken forward or with clear reasons for your case not being taken forward.

  • Free mediation service

    If appropriate to your case, mediation could be suggested to try and resolve the matter amicably.

    Mediation involves bringing the parties of a dispute together and helping them to reach agreement.

    It is a voluntary process and issues discussed during mediation are confidential. Parties are free to say things that they would not be able to say in court and can do so in a relatively safe environment.

    Our partner's appointed mediator will set out your concerns, explain how those concerns arose and suggest steps that may lead to an amicable resolution.

    Mediation can allow parties to achieve resolutions that are beyond a court’s power to award and whilst mediation does not aim to produce winners and losers, more often than not, it's substantially better, less expensive and less stressful, than litigation.

    If mediation fails to resolve the issue, additional support is available for both employee and employer members.

    Additional support for employee members

    Employee members can benefit from a free legal representation service that we have secured on behalf of BVA members.

    Legal representation is primarily to help resolve issues that arise in the workplace.  

    They will be able to provide guidance and support and will work throughout to achieve a sensible and amicable solution. BVA members can benefit from legal mediation, support and representation, including pre and post disciplinary and grievance meeting advice as well as accompaniment to disciplinary hearings.

    Action in an employment tribunal is one of the worst ways to resolve a dispute. But sometimes it is the only way. BVA's appointed partner will, if necessary, start legal action to help employees get what they are legally entitled to.

    Even then, BVA's appointed partner will seek settlement, where reasonably possible, prior to tribunal. Thorough case preparation, careful drafting of tribunal claim forms and witness statements will maximise the chance that the case is settled at the earliest stage possible. If the case cannot be settled reasonably, BVA's appointed partner will see the case through to a tribunal hearing.

    Further BVA support for employee members

    Additional support for employer members

    If you are an employer member you can access free employment law and HR support through a comprehensive employment law and HR service, made available to you through BVA's partner.

    As well as advice over the telephone, employer members can receive unlimited advice and assistance on employment law and related HR problems when the issues are complex and require in-depth support that cannot be effectively delivered via the legal advice line service.

    Our partner will work closely with members to ensure accurate documentation is produced and employers are compliant with current employment law. 

    The service will be useful for employer members of BVA who are uncertain of how best to comply with current employment law by assisting with drafting, checking and amending letters, and helping to draft or amend clauses within policies and clauses within statement of terms.

    The service is provided on a case-by-case basis and will normally cover issues that follow staged process, such as 

    • Drafting 'disciplinary hearing' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting 'grievance hearing' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting 'capability hearing' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting an 'at risk' letter regarding redundancy
    • Drafting 'consultation meeting' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting a 'termination' letter 
    • Drafting a 'restrictive covenant' letter 

    Worried about a claim of professional misconduct against you?

    Speak to the RCVS Advice team for advice and support through the process. Please note that the RCVS has no jurisdiction to adjudicate on claims of negligence and no powers to award compensation or damages. Any claims of negligence must be dealt with via your Professional Indemnity insurance provider.

    Professional guides and resources

    BVA members can access a range of invaluable guidance available to download for free. These provide guidance on the following areas:

    View all guides and resources