This policy sets out the commitment of Iscoed Chambers to comply with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality and Diversity provisions of the Bar’s Code of Conduct and to promote and advance the principles of equality and diversity in our members’ professional lives.
2. THE AIMS
In all our dealings with others we aim to avoid discrimination against anyone on grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, sex, pregnancy or maternity considerations, disability, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, religion or belief, political persuasion, age or gender reassignment. Chambers further recognises not only direct discrimination but that there are practices which have discriminatory effects (indirect discrimination).
This aim applies to all of our dealings with the variety of people with whom we interact in the course of our professional lives, including, but not restricted to, the following categories of persons:-
Clerks and our other Chambers’ staff
Instructing Solicitors and their staff
Other Barristers and Solicitors
Students seeking work experience and/or mini-pupillages
Direct discrimination – this occurs when a person receives less favourable treatment than others because of one of the protected characteristics identified in 2 above. It includes harassment which would not have occurred but for the race, sex etc of the victim. It is also direct discrimination to treat someone less favourably than others because that person is thought to have one of the protected characteristics (discrimination by perception) or because that person associates with someone who has a protected characteristic (discrimination by association).
Indirect discrimination – involves the application of a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a person’s protected characteristic. A provision, criterion or practice is discriminatory if it would put a person with a protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage when compared with a person who does not share that characteristic. A provision, criterion or practice will not be indirectly discriminatory if it can be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Harassment – any form of unwanted conduct which has the aim or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person (or in some cases, a witness to the conduct), for reasons relating to sex, race, gender re-assignment, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age.
Victimisation – it is victimisation for an employer to subject a worker to a detriment because the worker has brought or may bring legal proceedings on discrimination grounds; give evidence or information in connection with such proceedings: make an allegation that a person has discriminated against another; or made or sought a relevant pay disclosure>
Racial discrimination – this means discrimination on grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origins, nationality or citizenship.
Sex discrimination – this means discrimination on grounds of a person’s gender or marital status.
Sexual orientation discrimination – this means discrimination on grounds of personal sexual preference.
Disability discrimination – this means treating a person unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of that person’s disability. A disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out day to day activities.
Religious discrimination – this means discrimination because of a person’s religious observance, belief or practice.
Discrimination on grounds of political persuasion – this means discrimination braising out of any political belief, save where that belief is itself discriminatory.
Gender re-assignment – this means discrimination on grounds of a person being a transsexual. A person is protected from such discrimination if the person proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.
Pregnancy and maternity – this means discrimination on grounds of a woman being pregnant, ill as a result of the pregnancy or because she is exercising, has exercised or is seeking or has sought to exercise her right to maternity leave.
Marriage and civil partnership – this means discrimination on grounds of a person being married or in a civil partnership.
Age – this means discrimination on grounds of a person’s age or age group.
Iscoed Chambers is committed to a non-discriminatory approach in relation to its recruitment processes. In particular it intends to ensure that all Barristers, pupils, employees and potential recruits including students seeking work experience and/or mini-pupillages are treated fairly and with respect at all stages of their recruitment and practice or employment.
No-one in Chambers shall discriminate against a person in relation to any offer of pupillage (or work experience or mini-pupillage), employment or tenancy on grounds of race, religion, belief, sexuality, age, sex, reassigned gender or disability:-
3.1 In the arrangements which are made for the purpose of determining to whom it should be offered:-
3.2 in respect of any terms on which it is offered; or
3.3 by refusing or deliberately omitting to offer it to him or her.
5. PROVISION OF WORK
No-one in Chambers (whether a member or a clerk) shall discriminate against a pupil or tenant:-
4.1 In respect of any terms applicable to him or her as a pupil or tenant;
4.2 in the opportunities for training, or gaining experience, which are afforded or denied to him/her;
4.3 in respect of the distribution of work against pupils and tenants;
4.4 in the benefits, facilities or services which are afforded or denied to him or her;
4.5 by termination of his or her pupillage or by subjecting him or her to any pressure to leave Chambers or other detriment.
Iscoed Chambers’ clerks shall not accept instructions on behalf of Chambers if the offer of such instructions involves discrimination against any category of Barrister within Chambers (e.g. a request to instruct a Barrister of a specified gender).
6. PARENTAL LEAVE
Iscoed Chambers has a Parental Leave policy which aims to encourage members to return to Chambers following parental leave to continue to build successful practices. It seeks to encourage and support members taking time off following the birth or adoption of a child to do so without suffering financial hardship. The policy applies to all members of Chambers irrespective of gender.
7. FLEXIBLE WORKING
Iscoed Chambers has a Flexible Working Policy which covers the right of a member of Chambers to take a career break, work part-time or flexible hours or to work from home to enable them to manage their family or other responsibilities or disability and remain in practice.
8. EQUALITY MONITORING
In order to promote equality and diversity within Iscoed Chambers we shall collect and monitor personal data relating to staff, pupils, Barristers and applicants to Chambers as to their race, gender and any disabilities. This information is to be used solely for monitoring purposes and is kept entirely confidential in line with our data protection policies.
Harassment in any form will not be tolerated at Iscoed Chambers. Iscoed Chambers has a separate harassment policy document and is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals, clients and the public are treated with dignity and respect. Iscoed Chambers is determined to promote a work environment in which everyone is treated equally and with dignity and can flourish.
Harassment includes any unwelcome conduct relating to sex, race, disability, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. Such behaviour may take many forms including:-
- conduct which is unwanted by the recipient and perceived as hostile or threatening
- conduct which gives rise to a hostile or threatening work environment;
- conduct which creates an atmosphere in which it is feared that rejection or submission will be used as a basis for decisions which may have an impact on the recipient at work such as allocations of work or a tenancy.
10. REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS FOR DISABILITY
Iscoed Chambers is committed to making reasonable adjustments in order to remove or reduce substantial disadvantage for disabled people working with Chambers or receiving legal services. This applies to clients, visitors to Chambers as well as to tenants, pupils and employees.
Iscoed Chambers is situated at 86 St Helen's Road, Swansea SA1 4BQ. The building has wheelchair access via a ramp to the front of the building. Car parking for visitors is available by prior telephone booking with the clerks before a conference. If necessary, a conference can be arranged at a client’s home. Instructing Solicitors access providers should inform Chambers’ clerks if any other reasonable adjustment needs to be made to the provision of our legal services to accommodate a client or Solicitor with any disability.
11. Any member of Chambers or of Chambers’ staff that considers they have been subject to discrimination has recourse to the Chambers’ grievance procedure. Any other affected person has recourse to Chambers’ complaints procedure.
12. This policy was adopted on 30th September 2013 and will be reviewed every 2 years.
13. Iscoed Chambers has a commitment to promoting Equality and Diversity in the legal profession. Of our tenants, 41% are the first member of their family to attend university and 64% are from a UK state school background. For full details of our 2013 Equality and Diversity survey click here.
14. Iscoed Chambers Equality and Diversity Officer is David Harris. Our Diversity Data Officer is Avril Llewellyn, Chambers Director.