Equality & diversity policy
This Equality and Diversity Policy incorporates:
- General Commitment
- Statements on trans inclusion & menopause
- Fair recruitment and fair allocation of work
- 2 Kings Bench Walk chambers (2 KBW) is committed to achieving equality and diversity and equal opportunity, and will ensure at all times that no-one will be discriminated against on the grounds of:
- Race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origins),
- Gender, to include trans, non-binary and gender fluid and gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sex and sexual orientation
(The protected grounds under the Equality Act 2010).
- This policy applies to 2 KBW’s dealings with members of chambers, staff, pupils, clients and third parties.
- 2 KBW will treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect
- 2 KBW abides by the rules and guidance set out in the Bar Standards Board (BSB) Handbook Equality Rules and has adopted its contents
- 2 KBW reminds all its members, staff and pupils that the responsibility for ensuring that there is no unlawful discrimination rests not only with 2 KBW as a whole but also with each individual.
STATEMENTS ON TRANS-INCLUSION AND MENOPAUSE
- 2 KBW welcomes the Bar Council’s Trans – Inclusion statement and in particular emphasizes the following statements in its promotion of equality, diversity and inclusivity:
- That it is important to recognize that some people are transgender and that not everyone feels that their gender can be defined within the margins of gender binary
- 2 KBW supports and respects trans, non-binary and gender-fluid individuals, including students aspiring to join the Bar, pupils including mini-pupils, Barristers, and employees.
- 2 KBW will ensure that there are confidential and supportive ways of reporting any discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation because of gender reassignment, sexual orientation and sex, amongst other protected characteristics.
- 2 KBW is committed to creating an atmosphere in which individuals feel that they can ask for help. This includes, but is not limited to, physical and mental changes leading up to, and during menopause.
- 2 KBW understands that the menopause affects everyone differently, and that support needs to be based on the needs of the individual.
- Support will be tailored to the needs of the individual, including but not limited to:
- Providing for preparation days within the working week;
- Reducing the area or areas in which the individual is expected to travel;
- Ensuring flexibility for medical appointments;
- Changes to chambers’ environment e.g. providing a desktop fan;
- Emotional support.
- An individual can and should approach, in the first instance, the 2 KBW well-being officer(s), in confidence, with any issues arising out of menopause, who are currently Marion Smullen & Grace Ong.
- 2 KBW uses and follows the Best Practice Recruitment Guidelines contained in the Bar Council ‘Fair Recruitment Guide: A best practice guide for the Bar.’ https://www.barcouncilethics.co.uk/documents/fair-recruitment-guide/
- All members of chambers and management involved in recruitment will have, as a condition precedent, read and be familiar with the Bar Council Fair Recruitment Guide as stated in paragraph 10 above.
- The following individuals will have to attend accredited formal training in fair recruitment:
- The head or heads of chambers
- The head or heads of the tenancy committee
- The head or heads of the pupillage committee
- The senior clerk
- 2 KBW conducts its affairs in a manner which is fair and equitable for all members of Chambers, pupils, and employees. This includes but is not limited to the fair distribution of work opportunities amongst pupils and members of Chambers.
- Members of 2 KBW including staff will apply this policy when carrying out any of its functions including recruitment and selection of tenants, pupils (including mini-pupils), employment of staff, the monitoring and progress of pupils, the continuing review and assessment of employees, the provision of support, training and assistance to pupils and employees, and the promotion and marketing of members.
- Equal opportunities will be provided without unlawful discrimination by 2KBW:
- In recruitment of members of chambers, pupils, mini-pupils, and employees
- In all dealings with or on behalf of 2 KBW and members of chambers, pupils, mini-pupils and employees
- In affording access to opportunities for promotion and training
- In the career development of members of chambers, pupils and employees
- In ensuring that no individual is victimised for complaining in good faith of unlawful discrimination, or giving evidence about such a complaint
- In the manner in which, and the reasons for which, a member of chambers may be subject to disciplinary procedures, or an employee may be dismissed
OBLIGATIONS OF MEMBERS OF CHAMBERS, PUPILS, AND EMPLOYEES
- If at any time during membership of, pupillage at, or employment in 2 KBW an individual believes that this Policy is being or has been violated by any person, in any manner, the individual can and should raise it with the Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer(s) (who is/are currently Richard Hutchings and Grace Ong), who will then report to the Heads of Chambers.
MONITORING AND REVIEW OF THIS POLICY
- 2 KBW will regularly monitor and review the implementation of this Policy. This will be done on at least once every 2 years from the date of the implementation of the policy.
- In accordance with the Diversity Data Policy, Chambers regularly reviews:
- The number and percentages of its workforce from different groups;
- Applications to become a member of its workforce; and
- The allocation of unassigned work.
- Such reviews include:
- Collecting and analysing data broken down by race, disability and gender;
- Investigating the reasons for any disparities in that data; and
- Taking appropriate remedial action.
- The Equality and Diversity Officers (currently Richard Hutchings and Grace Ong ) are responsible for the effective operation of this Policy. They will review on a regular basis any guidance documents issued by the Bar Council or any other relevant legal organisation and make any recommendations necessary, including whether any training is required, in order to ensure that the Policy and its implementation by 2 KBW is appropriate and in accordance with up to date law and guidance.
Approved by the Chambers Management Committee on the 15th day of November 2023.