1.2.1 Chambers is committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in its own policies, practices and procedures and in those areas in which it has influence. This applies to Chambers’ dealings with members of Chambers (which in this policy shall include the Chambers’ employees), pupils, clients and third parties.
1.2.2 Chambers will treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect and will not discriminate against any person, nor victimise or harass them on the grounds of:
1.2.3 Chambers will take such steps and make such reasonable adjustments as are necessary in all the circumstances in order to prevent any members of Chambers and clients from being placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with those who are not disabled.
1.3.1 In implementing its equality and diversity policy, Chambers will comply with the Equality Act 2010 and the Bars Standards Board Handbook.
1.4.1 As an employer, Chambers will treat all members and job applicants equally and fairly and not discriminate unlawfully against them. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, grievance and disciplinary processes, demotions, selection for redundancies, dress code, references, work allocation and any other employment related matters.
1.5.1 Chambers recognises the benefits of having a diverse workforce and will take steps to ensure that:
At least one member of any such recruitment panel will have attended the Bar Council Fair Recruitment Course and all members of the panel will be familiar with the Bar Council’s Fair Recruitment Guide.
1.6.1 Chambers will create a working environment which is free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment and which respects the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of members of Chambers.
1.6.2 Terms and conditions of service for members of Chambers will comply with anti-discrimination legislation. The provision of benefits such as working hours, maternity / paternity and other leave arrangements, performance appraisal systems, dress code and any other conditions of employment will not discriminate against any member of Chambers on any of the prohibited grounds referred to above. Where appropriate and necessary, Chambers will endeavour to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service which take into account the specific needs of members of Chambers.
Promotion within Chambers will be made without reference to any of the prohibited grounds Promotion within Chambers will be made without reference to any of the prohibited grounds referred to above and will be based solely on merit. The selection criteria and processes for recruitment and promotion will be kept under review to ensure that there is no unjustifiably discriminatory impact on any particular group. Whilst positive action measures may, where lawful, be taken in accordance with relevant anti-discrimination legislation to encourage members of under-represented groups to apply for promotion opportunities, recruitment or promotion to all jobs will be based solely on merit. All employees will have equal access to training and other career development opportunities appropriate to their experience and abilities.
Barristers should be instructed on the basis of their skills, experience and ability. Members of Chambers will not, on any of the prohibited grounds referred to above, encourage or discourage a cBarristers should be instructed on the basis of their skills, experience and ability. Members of Chambers will not, on any of the prohibited grounds referred to above, encourage or discourage a client from briefing a barrister. Clients’ requests for a named barrister should be complied with, subject to Chambers’ duty to discuss with the client the suitability of the barrister and to advise appropriately. Chambers will discuss with the client any request by the client that only a barrister who is (for example) not disabled or who is of a particular gender (including trans, non-binary, and gender-fluid identitiess), marital status, race, racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief, age, or sexual orientation be instructed. In the absence of a valid reason for this request, which must be within any exemptions permitted by the anti-discrimination legislation, Chambers will endeavour to persuade the client to modify their instructions insofar as they are given on discriminatory grounds. Should the client refuse to modify such instructions, Chambers will cease to act.
Chambers (including members) must not refuse to accept instructions from clients based upon any of the prohibited grounds referred to above. Chambers will take reasonable steps to meet the different needs of particular clients arising from its obligations under anti-discrimination legislation.
Chambers is committed to promoting equality and diversity in Chambers as well as in those areas in which it has influence. Members of Chambers will be informed of this policy and employees will be provided with equality and diversity training appropriate to their needs and responsibilities.