BACP to temporarily suspend membership fees in response to Covid-19

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This is a request to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) to ask that they suspend membership fees with immediate effect.

BACP is UK's largest membership body with over 50,000 members. BACP are aware of the issues facing counsellors with regards to income and lack of employment opportunities.

For example, in their 2014 members survey they told us that the typical counsellor, “earns less than £10,000 a year” and “just nine per cent of BACP members earn more than £30,000 a year” and “25% of practicing BACP members are unpaid for their main role.” (1)

Furthermore, in their 2017 members survey they told us that, “49% of members included finding paid work” (2) as their greatest challenge.

As BACP are aware of these ongoing difficulties then we believe they will be aware of the further difficulties their members now face due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

At Counsellors Together UK we are hearing from many of our 5,700+ members about how they are being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The result is that many counsellors have seen their private counselling practices go under over night, with some people going from 15-20 clients per week to zero. This has resulted in a total loss of income. On top of this, the government have been slow to say exactly how they will support such workers who mainly operate on a self-employed basis.

With this knowledge we believe that the only ethical and just action for the BACP to take right now and show they support their members at this difficult time is the following:

1. Suspend all membership fees with immediate effect. Those members who wish to continue to pay can do so voluntarily.

2. Not to penalise any members who cancel their membership at this time and who wish to return to the BACP at the end of the pandemic, and guarantee this won't affect their registration, allowing them to pick up where they left off.

We would suggest that BACP puts these measures into action for the next three months, at which point they then review the situation and implement a gradual increase in members fees, once we come though this pandemic and life begins to return to normal.

We ask that you, BACP respond to this petition in writing to your members and let them know your decision.

With kind regards

Maria Albertsen - on behalf of Counsellors Together UK

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