Chambers’ Diversity Data Officer (DDO) is Richard Vallat QC.
1. General Statement
1.1 The members of Pump Court Tax Chambers (“Chambers”) are committed to ensuring an absence of direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. We aim to create a working environment in which all individuals are able to make the best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.
With a view to implementing that commitment, tenants, pupils, clerks and staff will comply with all relevant statutory requirements and will have regard (where applicable) to the Equality Rules of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) Handbook and Bar Code of Conduct.
In addition to this Policy Chambers publishes and implements the following policies:
- Anti-harassment Policy
- Parental Leave Policy and Flexible Working Policy
- Reasonable Adjustments Policy
- Pupillage Policy
- Diversity Data Collection and Publication Policy
1.2 This Policy applies in particular to
(a) The selection, recruitment and treatment of tenants, pupils and mini-pupils.
(b) The selection, recruitment and treatment of clerks and other members of staff.
(c) Fair access to work and the allocation of unassigned work within Chambers.
(d) Equality and diversity monitoring.
(e) The treatment of lay and professional clients.
(f) Complaints and grievances.
1.3 Chambers shall appoint at least one tenant as its Equality and Diversity Officer [EDO] with the responsibility of ensuring that this Policy is being complied with.
1.4 Chambers may appoint an Equality and Diversity Committee [the EDO Committee] to assist the EDO in ensuring that this Policy is being complied with. The members of this committee to comprise the EDO and the two previous EDOs.
1.5 Chambers shall appoint a Diversity Data Officer [DDO] whose name and contact details will be provided to the BSB. The Diversity Data Officer shall be responsible for arranging and supervising the collection of Diversity Data from the members of the Chambers’ workforce in accordance with the requirements set out in the Code of Conduct for the Bar.
1.6 For the purposes of this Policy, “discrimination” shall include victimisation and harassment, all of which expressions are defined in the Equality Act 2010.
2. The selection and recruitment of tenants, pupils and mini-pupils
2.1 The selection and recruitment of tenants, pupils (including third sixes) and mini-pupils will be conducted openly and objectively and be effected in accordance with the principles of equality and diversity as set out in 1.1 above.
2.2 The selection and recruitment of pupils, and of such pupils as a junior tenant, will be conducted in accordance with the Pupillage Policy.
2.3 The selection and recruitment of other junior tenants shall be conducted in accordance with the Pupillage Policy.
2.4 The selection and recruitment of tenants other than junior tenants shall be effected by means of such of the procedures in the Pupillage Policy as Chambers considers to be appropriate in the circumstances of the particular case.
3.1 Mini-pupillages shall be awarded in accordance with the principles of equality and diversity as set out in 1.1 above.
3.2 Mini-pupillages shall be awarded in accordance with the Pupillage Policy.
4. The selection and recruitment of clerks and other members of staff
4.1 The recruitment of clerks and other members of staff will be conducted openly and objectively and in accordance with the principles of equality and diversity as set out in 1.1 above but otherwise by reference to such procedures as Chambers considers to be appropriate in the circumstances of the case.
5. Fair access to work and the allocation of unassigned work within Chambers
5.1 For the purpose of this paragraph unassigned work means:
(a) Work that comes into Chambers with no name and is addressed to the clerk
(b) Work that comes into Chambers for a named barrister selected by the solicitor on the recommendation of a Clerk
(c) Returned work reallocated by a Clerk
(d) Junior work to be assigned by a leader
(e) Leading work to be assigned by a junior.
5.2 Only clerks and members who have undergone approved equality and diversity training shall be permitted to allocate unassigned work.
5.3 The clerks shall so far as practicable record their reasons for the allocation of unassigned work using where possible the standard monitoring facility on the LEX software.
5.4 In the event of a complaint, the Senior Clerk shall, if requested by the EDO or the tenant making the complaint, furnish an explanation (in writing if so requested) for the allocation of any particular item of unassigned work by any tenant or the clerks.
5.5 The DDO shall monitor the allocation of work data on a quarterly basis or otherwise in accordance with the Diversity Data Collection and Publication Policy and shall provide a written report to the EDO and where necessary to the Management Committee with the results of such monitoring.
5.6 Instructions which are discriminatory and therefore in breach of the principles set out at 1.1 above, will not be accepted.
6.1 Chambers is committed to ensuring that staff and tenants involved in processes relating to para 1.2 above have undertaken approved equality and diversity training.
6.2 All members of Chambers shall undertake equality and diversity training, including training in fair recruitment and selection, at least once every three years (subject to paragraph 6.3). That training must be undertaken by attending:
a. Training sessions organised in Chambers, provided by the Bar Council; or
b. Both of the “Introduction to Equality & Diversity” and the “Fair Recruitment and Selection” training sessions provided by the Bar Council.
6.3 Where, at the time training is provided in Chambers, a member is on a period of leave in accordance with the Parental Leave Policy, that member shall not be required to undertake further training until that period of leave comes to an end. That member must, however, have read the Bar Council’s Fair Recruitment Guide. Upon that period of leave coming to an end, the member shall be required to undertake further training as soon as reasonably practicable.
6.4 The EDO shall have responsibility for monitoring Chambers’ compliance with paragraphs 6.1 and 6.2 and shall where necessary make appropriate recommendations to the Management Committee.
6.5 Any member who has not undertaken the training required by paragraph 6.2 shall, as detailed in the Chambers Constitution, not be entitled to participate in any meeting, panel or committee insofar as it concerns, or vote on any matter regarding:
a. The selection, recruitment or discipline of members, pupils and mini-pupils;
b. The selection, recruitment, discipline, remuneration or other terms of employment, of members of staff;
c. Complaints or grievances raised by any member, pupil, mini-pupil or member of staff.
6.6 The appropriate funds shall be allocated by Chambers to ensure the implementation and monitoring of and compliance with this Equality and Diversity Policy.
6.7 A copy of this Policy shall be given to every tenant, pupil, clerk and other member of staff, and to each new tenant, pupil, clerk or other member of staff on joining Chambers.
7. Grievance Procedure
7.1 Chambers’ Grievance procedure can be obtained by contacting the EDOs via firstname.lastname@example.org
7.2 Clerks and members of staff should use the grievance procedure available to them as staff.
8.1 This policy will be reviewed annually.