Our Equality Policy.

Chambers has formally adopted a Statement of Intent that places equality at the heart of our working practices. It is intended that we comply with this statement both collectively and individually and it applies to members of chambers, the clerks and anyone that works on on our behalf.

 

 

Statement of Intent

 

 We encourage and appreciate the value of diversity. No person shall be treated less favourably on the grounds of their   

 sex,  marital status, sexual  orientation, colour, race, nationality, ethnic origin or on the  grounds of age, social

 background, disability, or religion.

 

 

 1. Equality Officers

 Chambers’ Equality Officer is responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy. 

 At present our Equality Officer is :  Oliver Lycett

 We seek to monitor the effectiveness of these policies by way of regular review.  In order to do this data is collected in respect

 of the age, gender, race and disability of tenants, staff, and pupils.

 This data is analysed so that we can identify any issues that may arise.

 The person with responsibility for collecting and analysing this information is the Diversity Data Officer.

 At present that is : Edward Palmer

 

 

2. Harassment

We do not accept behaviour or conduct which may amount to harassment or victimisation based on a person's race, sex, sexual orientation or disability.  

 

Harassment can include insulting, humiliating or abusive comments or jokes, lewd remarks or innuendo, unwelcome propositions  and excluding others socially.    

 

All barristers, pupils, mini-pupils, employees & clients may make a complaint using our grievance procedure.

Anyone making a complaint shall not suffer detriment as a result.

 

 

3. Recruitment


 In the recruitment of pupils and staff we are specifically committed to equal opportunities as part of the process.

 

 Staff vacancies within chambers shall be advertised in mainstream local and/or national publications.

 Any advertisement shall contain a statement that we support equality.

 

 We will ensure there are equal opportunities at each stage of the recruitment process.

  

 We will not put in place criteria which have a disproportionately adverse impact upon applicants if they are

 contrary to our Statement of Intent.

 4. Pupillage

 We are committed to equal opportunities in the selection and recruitment of pupils and that the process is open, transparent

 and consistent with the criteria formulated by chambers.

 5. New Tenants

 Usually we will advertise any identified vacancies which exist, however recruitment of experienced tenants may take place by  

 way of a less formal process. Such application shall still be considered in a manner which is consistent with  our Statement of   IIntent.

 

 

 6.  Career Development

 

 We will ensure that tenants have equal access to work which is suitable to their experience and seniority.

 

 The Senior Clerk will review the allocation of work that arrives unassigned into chambers, to ensure it is distributed  fairly.

 Should any professional client decline to instruct a barrister on discriminatory grounds we will take action under the

 Bar Code of Conduct.

 

 The Senior Clerk will ensure that practice development and marketing is pursued in a fair way consistent with our  policies.

 

 It is intended that no individual is unfairly excluded from any marketing event.  Any person arranging marketing events  must

 have regard to these policies.

 Opportunities for relevant training shall be made known to all eligible staff, pupils or tenants. 

 Promotion within chambers is based on merit alone.

 

 

 7. Recruitment Panels

 

 Whenever possible we will include persons of different gender, age, racial and social backgrounds within any selection   

 panel. The panel shall be aware of this Equality Policy and the relevant provisions of the Equality and Diversity Code for the

 Bar.

 

 The panel shall ensure that all candidates are treated equally during the course of any interview and during any assessment  conducted in respect of that interview.

 Records of interviews and applications shall be kept for six months.

 

 

 8. Maternity/Paternity/Parental/Adoption Leave

 Membership of chambers will remain open for up to one year while any tenant takes parental or adoption leave. For a period  

 of six  months that tenant shall not be required to pay rent to chambers. For the remaining six months female tenants shall be

 required to pay only 50% of the minimum monthly rent contribution.

 

 

9. Flexible Working

 

We aim to be as “family friendly” as possible in order to encourage continuing practice by those with children. By       agreement  with  chambers we allow career breaks whilst retaining membership. Whenever possible we will try to arrange staff working hours to facilitate family commitments.

 

       

       10. Disability

 

We will make such adjustments as are reasonable and practicable to chambers premises to ensure those with a disability are not unjustifiably disadvantaged.

 

 

11. Grievance Procedures

 

Informal complaint : This can be made orally to either the Head of Chambers or the Equality Officer.  An informal complaint can be made in confidence with a view to resolving any issue without the need for a formal investigation. An informal complaint may also be made simply to seek advice. A formal complaint may then be pursued if the complainant remains dissatisfied. 

 

 

Formal complaint :  This must be made in writing to the Head of Chambers or the Equality Officer and give details of the   allegations,  preferably at the earliest opportunity. The complaint will be considered by three members of chambers. The complainant and the  person complained about will have the right to make representations before any decision is made. The procedure shall be  completed within a reasonable period of time and any decision shall be given in writing to all concerned parties. Unless it is  necessary to involve any individual as part of the investigation the complaint shall remain in confidence.

 

 

12. Implementation

 

The Equality Officer shall ensure that those who have most involvement with the implementation of this policy (i.e. the staff, the management committee and those dealing with position applications) understand the policy and their responsibilities under existing legislation and codes of conduct and guidance issued by the Bar Council or Inns of Court.

 

13. Amendment

 

The Equality Officer shall ensure that consideration is given by the management committee and chambers to the need for any amendments to this policy and the practices of chambers at least once each year.

 

14. Availability

 

Copies of this policy shall be available to each pupil, tenant and employee and shall be displayed on chambers’ website. It shall also be made available to prospective applicants for pupillage, tenancy or any staff position upon request.

 

 

 

Equality Policy. Version 5. August 2019

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