As a leading set of chambers, 3PB is committed to equal opportunities and diversity in the workplace. We recognise the obligation not to discriminate against clients, counsel, pupils or staff and aim to treat everyone equally and fairly, in a non discriminatory way. It is only right that no job applicant, employee, worker, member or client/visitor is discriminated against on the grounds of a protected characteristic, such as:
- Gender reassignment.
- Marriage and civil partnership.
- Pregnancy, maternity and adoption for the primary carer
- Race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin).
- Religion or belief.
- Sexual orientation or re-assignment.
In addition, we aim to ensure that no job applicant, employee, worker or client is treated less favourably or placed at a disadvantage on the grounds of their part-time status or trade union activities. We aim to recruit and retain the very best tenants, pupils and staff and this applies in the advertisement of jobs, recruitment, appointment, provision of benefits, allocation of training, promotion, disciplinary proceedings, dismissal, conditions of work, pay, giving a reference, the provision of services and every other activity and aspect of employment.
3PB does not tolerate any unlawful or unfair discrimination and anyone found to be acting in a discriminatory manner will face disciplinary action which could include dismissal. We actively promote equality of opportunity and require everyone to contribute towards achieving this objective.
We believe that treating people with dignity and respect is an important part of realising equal opportunities and diversity, and this policy should be read in conjunction with our harassment and bullying policy.
Types of unlawful discrimination
The different types of discrimination are generally defined as follows:
- Direct discrimination: where a person is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic.
- Indirect discrimination: where a provision, criterion or practice is applied that is to the detriment of people who share a protected characteristic when compared with people who do not, and is not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
- Harassment: where there is unwanted conduct in relation to a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, regardless of the intention of the perpetrator.
- Associative discrimination: where a person is directly discriminated against because of their association with another person who has a protected characteristic.
- Perceptive discrimination: where a person is directly discriminated against or harassed based on a perception that they have protected characteristic even though they do not.
- Victimisation: where a person is subjected to a detriment because they have supported or raised a complaint under the Equality Act 2010 or are suspected of doing so.
Recruitment and selection
Our objective is to recruit staff best able and qualified to perform the required or anticipated tasks. We will recruit using a variety of methods, for example, advertisements in local newspapers, recruitment agencies and Job Centres.
The wording of any advertisements will not place unfair restrictions or requirements on a particular group or request specific qualifications that are not necessary for the effective performance of the job.
All applications will be considered on the basis of objective criteria, such as qualifications, experience and ability to do the job. Person specifications and job descriptions will only state requirements as necessary where they are essential for the job. Account will be taken of reasonable adjustments that may be required for applicants with disabilities.
We recognise that women, those with disabilities and members of ethnic monitories and those with disabilities are under-represented at the Bar and actively encourage applications from these groups.
The selection processes used by 3PB will measure the suitability of the applicant in terms of the requirements for the position. Selection criteria and procedures will be kept under review to ensure that individuals are selected and promoted on the basis of relevant merits and abilities.
We will endeavour through appropriate training to ensure that employees who are making selection and recruitment decisions do not discriminate, whether consciously or subconsciously, in making these decisions.
Training and promotion
All employees will be given equality of opportunity and will be encouraged to progress within Chambers.
We are committed to maintaining high standards of training and personal development strictly in the context of this policy on equal opportunities. Training will not be refused on an unlawful basis.
Promotion and advancement will be made on merit and all decisions relating to this will be made within the overall framework and principles of this policy.
Equal opportunities and diversity training will be provided to all new employees as part of the induction process. Written instructions and training will be given to managers from time to time on equality and diversity in recruitment, selection, training, promotion, discipline and dismissal.
Discipline and dismissal
We aim to ensure there is no discrimination in our disciplinary or redundancy processes and will examine procedures and criteria to ensure that discrimination is not taking place. 3PB will regularly monitor the decisions being made.
We will maintain employment records for all employees and may review them in order to monitor the progress of this policy.
Monitoring may involve:
- Collecting and classifying information in relation to, for example, race, gender, disability and age of applicants and current employees.
- Examining, for example, race, sex, disability and age of the distribution of employees and the success rate of the applicants.
- Reviewing recruitment, training and promotional records of employees, the decisions reached and the reason for those decisions.
The results of any monitoring procedure will be reviewed at regular intervals to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of this policy and changes will be made to this policy if necessary.
Clients, potential clients and suppliers
We will not discriminate against people supplying, using or seeking to use the services and/or facilities we provide.
Scope of this policy
All members, pupils and staff are required to assist 3PB in meeting its commitment under this policy and to avoid unlawful discrimination. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action, and serious acts of discrimination will lead to dismissal without notice for gross misconduct. Serious acts of harassment might also be considered to be a criminal offence.
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