Ordinary membership is open to:
- Local authority chief executives
- S151 officers
- Monitoring officers
- Chief executives of certain other public sector organisations (such as Police and Crime Chief Executives)
Retired membership is open to any ordinary member (or former ordinary member) who has retired from employment with a local government body. Details (including the annual subscription) can be found by clicking here. The retired membership application form can be found here. Unless a valid direct debit mandate is still in force, a fresh direct debit will also have to be completed: click here.
The annual membership fee from January 2019 is £380. (The retired membership subscription is £50: see above.)
The arrangements for membership subscriptions are as follows.
Generally, you will pay one year’s membership up front. ALACE does not offer part year membership rates and thus you have to pay a full year’s subscription whether you join on 1 January (which is the start of our membership year) or on, say,15 December. We recognise that the cost might be prohibitive if joining late in the calendar year – you’re welcome to join with effect from 1 January in the following year if you prefer – but we keep the option of membership open throughout the year for those who are joining when they need early support or are facing immediate difficulty.
Subscriptions fees are collected by direct debit (although arrangements can be made for payment by BACS for those in difficulty and needing urgent access to support as a member). The annual subscription fee is collected in in January each year.
In addition to the detailed employment guidance notes and pensions FAQs on our website, you will be eligible for up to four hours of free support from an ALACE consultant in your first twelve months of membership. You would have to pay for any support in excess of four hours in the first 12 months at the rate of £85 per hour (this will be £90 per hour from 1 September 2019), and any reasonable expenses (such as travel costs) incurred by an ALACE consultant in providing support in excess of four hours. This rate is extremely competitive compared to what an HR or pensions consultant or employment lawyer would charge.
We also offer a discounted rate for anyone wishing to pay up front for two years’ membership.
Until 31 December 2019, this will buy you membership until 31 December 2020 and is available at £735 and entitles you to eight hours of free support in your first twelve months of membership. (There is no further discounting if you take out a two-year membership part way through a year. The main benefit of this option, if joining part way through a year, is access to up to eight hours of free support.)
Why are the rules as they are? The cost of consultancy support can far exceed a year’s subscription. Sadly, we previously had some instances of new members paying a single year’s subscription, drawing on support worth far more than the subscription they had paid, and then resigning from membership before any further subscription was due. The ALACE Council considered this to be unfair to other members and financially unsustainable. Likewise, we don’t want to encourage people to apply for membership only after they’ve got into difficulties with their employing council – “deathbed conversions” – unless we can also protect the financial interests of the Association. Hence the arrangements that limit the amount of free support (whether on pensions, employment issues or both) that a new member can receive in his or her first 12 months.
It is ALACE’s approach that members who have shown a commitment to the Association for more than one year should not have their access to support automatically limited. We hope to be able to maintain that approach and look forward to welcoming you to many years’ membership!
For more information on the full range of benefits of ALACE membership, click here, and for more information specifically on the benefits of our pensions services, click here. If you would like a conversation about membership before signing up, please contact Ian Miller, the Honorary Secretary, on 07515 190917 or [email protected]
ALACE and SOLACE
Please note that ALACE and SOLACE are quite separate organisations (although we work closely together and have many members in common). ALACE is a trades union; SOLACE is a professional society. Membership of one does not bring with it membership of the other. If you are also interested in joining SOLACE, click here.