The (new) Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012
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14 GRAY’S INN SQUARE EQUALITY POLICY
Statement of Policy
14 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers is firmly committed to equal opportunities for all. 14 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers is also committed to providing a working environment in which all individuals including, members of chambers, pupils, mini-pupils and employees are treated with dignity and respect.
14 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers recognises and adopts the following regulatory and legislative provisions:
“A barrister must not, in his professional practice, discriminate unlawfully against, victimise or harass any other person on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, sex, gender re-assignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, disability, age or religion or belief”.
The fundamental equality principle is drafted to accord with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 which apply to barristers (s.47).
The requirement not to discriminate applies to a barrister in all aspects of his or her professional life. The requirement not to discriminate improperly applies to a barrister’s relationship with “any other person” in the course of his/her professional dealings. Therefore the requirement may be interpreted as covering a barrister’s relationship with (the below list is not exhaustive):
- Clerks and other chambers’ staff
- Court staff
- Instructing solicitors and their staff
- Judges Other barristers
- Pupils Obligations
Equal opportunities must be provided without unlawful discrimination:
a) In the recruitment of members of chambers, pupils and employees. This includes the procedures adopted for selecting members of chambers, pupils and employees, and any terms of pupillage or employment provided, and in offering or refusing a person tenancy, pupillage, or employment;
b) In all dealings with or on behalf of Chambers, pupils and employees;
c) In offering access to opportunities for promotion, transfer and training;
d) In the career development of members of chambers, pupils and employees and ensuring fair allocation and distribution of work;
e) In ensuring that members of Chambers, pupils and employees are not treated unfavourably in any other way.
f) 14 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers is committed to supporting disabled clients, barristers, pupils, employees and visitors to Chambers. Reasonable adjustments will be made in respect of support and access to facilities.
g) 14 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers is committed to a written anti-harassment policy and will not tolerate or condone harassment.
h) 14 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers is committed to allowing members of Chambers to take parental, sickness and sabbatical leave. Full details are set out in the Parental and Leave Policies.
All members of Chambers, pupils and employees are required to comply with this policy. Failure to do so will result in the implementation of disciplinary procedures. Obligation of Members of Chambers If at any time during membership of Chambers, or pupillage, or employment at Chambers any person/s believe that this policy is being or has been violated by any person, in any manner, then the following action should be taken:-
a) Raise it with Chambers Equality and Diversity Officer, currently Miss Poonam Bhari, who will discuss and implement action as agreed with the complainant.
b) Otherwise contact the Head of Chambers, who will take appropriate action to address and resolve the matter.
c) In the case of formal complaints Chambers policy and procedures on complaints and grievances will be referred to.
d) Confidentiality will be maintained at all times, save if waived by the persons concerned. This includes confidentiality in relation to record-keeping.
14 Gray’s Inn Square Equality and Diversity Officer is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy. It is intended that this policy and its operation will be subject to regular review. This policy was adopted on July 2013.
14 Gray’s Inn Square
- Legal Requirement: Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010
- Regulatory Requirement: Rule 408.2 (g) Equality Rules of the Code of Conduct
Definition of Harassment
1. Harassment is any form of unwanted conduct relating to age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation which has the aim or effect of violating a person’s dignity, or which creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person (or, in some cases, a witness to the conduct).
2. A second form of harassment is where a person engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature towards another person and the conduct has one or other of the above aims or effects.
3. A third form of harassment occurs when a person engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature (or related to gender reassignment or sex) which has one or other of the above aims or effects and because the recipient rejected (or submitted) to that conduct treats the recipient less favourably than if they had not rejected or submitted to it.
1. 14 Gray’s Inn Square is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals, clients and the public are treated with dignity and respect. 14 Gray’s Inn Square is determined to promote a work environment in which everyone is treated equally and with dignity and can flourish.
2. Harassment in any form will not be tolerated at 14 Gray’s Inn Square. Harassment includes any unwanted conduct related to sex, race, disability, gender re-assignment, 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 have an impact on the recipient at work such as an allocation of work or tenancy decision.
3. The following are examples of types of behaviour which may amount to harassment:
- physical or sexual assault;
- requests for sexual favours in return for career advancement;
- unnecessary physical contact;
- exclusion from social networks and activities or other forms of isolation;
- compromising suggestions or invitations;
- suggestive remarks or looks;
- display of offensive materials, including on a computer screen;
- tasteless jokes or verbal abuse, including any sent by email;
- offensive remarks or ridicule;
- dealing inappropriately or inadequately with complaints of harassment.
4. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 . In addition to the above unwanted conduct, it can arise where a person engages in any kind of unwanted sexual behaviour (or gender reassignment or sex related behaviour).
5. Complaints of harassment may be raised informally in the first instance with Miss Poonam Bhari, chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer, who will agree an appropriate response. Formal complaints should be made under the 14 Gray’s Inn Square complaints/grievance procedure.
6. Harassment is misconduct for employees or a breach of the Bar Code of Conduct for barristers. Allegations of harassment will be dealt with under the 14 Gray’s Inn Square disciplinary procedure.
7. Chambers is committed to ensuring that no-one who makes an allegation of harassment in good faith should be subjected to any detriment as a result. Any victimisation of a complainant, witness or anyone else involved in the investigation of a complaint will be viewed as a disciplinary matter.
8. A copy of this policy is provided to all those for whom chambers constitutes a working environment, including members of chambers, pupils, squatters, clerks and other employees, temporary workers, those who provide services to chambers such as contract cleaners, accountants and IT consultants, and mini-pupils and work experience students.
9. This policy was adopted on July 2013 and will be reviewed annually.