On 1 October 2021, the Architects Benevolent Society (ABS) widened its eligibility criteria to include all architectural practice employees and their dependents, giving a lifeline to non-practitioners and multidisciplinary professionals in need as the UK’s coronavirus furlough scheme ends

Image © Nick Harrison

Following a review of their eligibility criteria, Architects Benevolent Society (ABS) are now able to support all employees of architectural practices and their dependents.

Now, any person who has been an employee of an architectural practice in the UK for at least two years – or a dependant of such a person – can contact ABS for help and support with money and debt, mental health and wellbeing, physical health and disability,  employment support, and specialist housing advice.

The development recognises that practices have evolved over the years to encompass multiple disciplines, and employ staff – such as IT and HR professionals and office managers – who are integral to business operations. It will not affect the support ABS offers to its current beneficiaries and any architects, architectural technologists, or landscape architects who need support in the future.

‘We are delighted to be announcing the widening of our eligibility,’ said ABS Chief Executive Rob Ball. ‘We have been pleased to be able to help architects, landscape architects and architectural technologists over the course of our 170 years, and we will now be able to support their colleagues in practices who might otherwise have nowhere to turn when struggling with illness, unemployment or other personal difficulties.

‘We sincerely hope this will help to bring the wider architectural community closer together and to ensure we can assist and support each other through life’s challenges.’

ABS also encourage those in need who may not quite meet the criteria to contact their welfare team, as they may be able to help with other advice and resources.

Find out more about the announcement at absnet.org.uk, or visit the ABS support hub to check your eligibility and explore the support on offer.

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