As well as core benefits of union membership there's a range of discounts and services at preferential rates through Prospect Plus
In addition to all-important support in the workplace, BECTU members enjoy a range of benefits and services. Our legal services and low-cost insurances are amongst the most valued core benefits.
How to become a BECTU member? Join online if you're a freelancer. Alternatively, download or request the appropriate application form.
However, there's more. Prospect Plus (previously BECTU Plus) is a benefit service which offers members access to a range of discounted services, tailored offers and special deals covering home and lifestyle, work and business, shopping and travel.
The service is run on behalf of the union by Parliament Hill Ltd.
Prospect Plus' unique price promise system will always seek to provide the best value for members. The offers include discounts on selected Apple products, travel insurance, tax return services, airport parking, gym membership, foreign exchange services, leisure activities and much more. Discounts on VW Vans purchased through the Cordwallis Group are also part of the offer.
Members should use their website log in to access the Prospect Plus page for more details. Contact us if you have a log-in query. the content of the union's offer is subject to change. Terms and conditions apply to all benefits.
Prospect subscribes to the Energy Helpline switching service which allows union members to pool their interest in lower energy prices to seek the best available deals. Members of the BECTU Sector of Prospect can apply to be part of the next collective switch (Autumn 2018) by completing the form here no later than 11 September 2018. Members can register for the switch but there is no obligation to complete this.
Members can also access a range of financial support too from Lighthouse Financial, and PayPlan. Members should login to this page to find out more about help with financial advice and managing debt.
Quick reference guide to union benefits and services
The benefits referred to above sit alongside core union benefits which are summarised below.
(The latest version of the Benefits and Services booklet is available to download from this page).
Members who need to access the available services should log in and visit the pages highlighted left for more information.
The Benevolent Fund is open to applications for modest grants from members in serious financial difficulty. For more information members should quote their membership number in correspondence with assistant finance office, Amy Hong.
BFI Members are at the front of the queue for the hottest film tickets in London, and enjoy a great package of other film benefits. Find full details at www.bfi.org.uk/join.
BECTU members should login here for the BFI discount code to save £5 on payments by direct debit (£35 instead of £40).
The BFI Reuben Library offers free access at the BFI Southbank. Find full details here.
BECTU has special arrangements with collecting societies which collect and distribute monies to members for secondary uses of work. This applies to directors (via Directors UK) and to designers, animators and visual artists (via DACS). Screen Craft Rights represents the interests of rightholders in BECTU grades in Europe. Screen Craft Rights, which distributed funds for the first time in November 2011, has agreements with collecting societies in Germany, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
BECTU's experienced copyright consultant can provide quick, free and common sense advice to members. BECTU can also provide initial legal advice and representation on copyright matters.
The next of kin of members in union benefit at the time of their passing, are entitled to claim a death benefit from BECTU. Such a claim should be made within six months of the death. Contact assistant finance officer Amy Hong for details.
- Benevolent Fund which provides the possibility of grants to members in financial difficulty.
- See sections on Pensions and Tax and National Insurance.
Hearing healthcare discounts with Harley Street Hearing. Their audiologists offer advice and support on a range of hearing issues including hearing conservation. They also provide a hearing therapy service for those living with tinnitus.
In conjunction with Help Musicians UK the practice runs a new scheme - Musicians Hearing Health Scheme - which BECTU members are welcome to apply for. This offers hearing test and advice and custom made musicians earplugs for £40. Full details can be found here.
Anyone not eligible for the scheme can take advantage of:
- Hearing test £30.00
- Hearing Consultation and test £60.00
- Hearing test and custom-made musicians earplugs £150.00
- Presenters fitting £55.00.
BECTU is part of University College of Osteopathy's Clinic Community Partnership scheme. Visit this page to get more information on the benefits available and to make your appointment. BECTU members should have their membership card to hand when booking and should take this with them when attending appointments.
£10m public liability insurance
BECTU offers its freelance members access to a group policy which runs from 1 May - 30 April each year. Cover is available to members up to date with their subscriptions for £31.50 from 1 May 2018 - 30 April 2019, for the whole or part year. More information about the terms of the cover is available here. NB: New PLI Extra combining PLI with personal accident cover launches 1 May 2019.
Media Freelancer Insurance for freelancers & small businesses
Members are also encouraged to contact Hencilla Canworth Ltd, (email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 686 5050) the union's specialist broker, for information on additional cover for freelancers/small businesses.
Media Freelancer Insurance starts with kit cover and can be extended to include employers' liability (compulsory if members employ other people), public and product liability, buildings and professional indemnity insurance. Visit www.bectuinsurance.com to get an instant quote.
BECTU does not find work for members, however the following assistance is available:
Crewbus is BECTU's online directory for freelance members; the directory had two sections, one for film and television, the other for theatre and live events. Freelance members will be routed to one of the two sections depending on their branch membership. Employers can search for crew and save their searches.
Early Bird is a free monthly listing of upcoming productions produced for freelance members. The listing covers independent productions and feature films. Registered members receive an email alert when the latest issue is published on this site.
Thompsons Solicitors only act for union members.
Employment matters: comprehensive service on all legal matters arising from employment including breach of contract, discrimination, unfair dismissal, equal pay, working time, monies owed, and redundancy. Advice and, where appropriate, full representation in legal proceedings.
Personal injury: BECTU members have legal cover for any accidents whether at or away from work; for members' families our service covers any accident away from work. Thompsons, the union's lawyers will assess possible legal cases and, wherever there is a reasonable prospect, pursue proceedings for compensation. This is a free service and unlike 'no win, no fee' arrangements, no legal fees are charged to members. The service also includes injuries sustained prior to joining BECTU, and accidents abroad as long as it is possible to sue in the UK. Download this flyer.
Thompsons Solicitors also sponsors our Freelancers' Fair. Pic: Rod Leon
Other legal services include:
- 24 hour/365 day legal helpline. Offers free initial legal advice on all non-employment legal matters.
- Contract advice which is particularly suitable for freelance and casual workers.
- Free will-making service (free service applies to first will only).
- Access to Thompsons National Criminal Law Unit for members and their families.
BECTU legal guide for members in Northern Ireland.
A guide to legal advice available to BECTU and Prospect members in Northern Ireland can be downloaded here.
Members with at least three months' union membership working in make-up, wigs and hair, costume or as background artistes can now apply for MAC's professional members' scheme MAC Pro for product discounts and professional support. Members should complete this revised application form to benefit from two years' free membership (either on registration or renewal). Members should be ready to upload their membership number and date of joining. Use this email address for help with any queries.
BECTU's customised stakeholder pension provided by Aviva is now closed to new members. More than 100 companies have chosen our scheme to provide for their workers; in some cases BECTU has been able to negotiate an employer's contribution to the individual's stakeholder plan. Current members who would like more information about the scheme should contact Berkeley Burke or telephone 0845 634 2010.
Members who have to identify themselves regularly (eg when working in public places with special emphasis on newsgathering and current affairs coverage) can apply via BECTU for a press pass issued by the UK Press Card Authority. This service is only available to BECTU members. Contact Kash Cheeta, quoting your membership number, for more information. The pass, which is recognised by the Association of Chief Police Officers, is valid for two years and is renewable. Please note that passes can take two weeks to process once the application is submitted.
This provides an independent, dated registration of members' works which could be useful evidence in discussions or disputes about rights. More information here.
BECTU's Tax Guide for Freelancers explains Schedule D and PAYE tax status. It includes the list of occupations accepted by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs as qualifying for Schedule D treatment.
BECTU has long and detailed experience of freelance tax issues. The union cannot act as accountants but has a track record of discussions and negotiation with HMRC on Schedule D and National Insurance status.
Members have access to the union's tax consultant on detailed and technical taxation issues, including tax status, allowances, working abroad and VAT.
Prospect Plus is managed and run for Prospect/BECTU by Parliament Hill Ltd 3rd Floor, 127 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6BT. Tel: 0207 710 9494. Parliament Hill and Prospect are not part of the same group, nor part of any of the product/service providers that form the benefits scheme. Prospect is an introducer-appointed representative of Parliament Hill, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for non-investment insurance mediation and credit broking only. You can check this out on the Financial Services Rregister (register.fca.org.uk) under register number 308448. Insurance benefits are subject to underwriting and underwriting criteria. Each benefit has its own terms and conditions. Please contact the provider for details.
The benefits and services summarised above are arranged by Prospect/BECTU; full details of each service are available separately. Some services and products are only available to UK residents and/or to those aged 18 years or over, and some of these may not be available in all areas of the UK. Benefits and services are subject to change at the sole discretion of the BECTU Sector of Prospect/Prospect in accordance with decisions of the Sector Executive Committee/National Executive Committee and/or the BECTU Sector Rulebook or Prospect's Rulebook.
While every care has been taken in the preparation of the above information, Prospect/BECTU Sector of Prospect cannot accept liability for mistakes or any arising consequences. Last page update 5 March 2019.