The firm is committed to the principles of equality and diversity and to observing all legislative requirements relevant to these principles. This policy will be monitored and reviewed annually.
2. The Policy
The firm is committed to a policy of non-discrimination, non-victimisation and non-harassment in all its professional dealings with employees, partners, barristers, other lawyers, clients and third parties and will not discriminate, victimise or harass any person in these groups on the grounds of:
- Race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins);
- Sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity);
- Sexual orientation (including civil partnership status);
- Religion or beliefs;
- Age; or
3. The firm will take all steps and make all adjustments as are reasonable in the circumstances to prevent any employee, partner or clients who are disabled from being placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with those who are not disabled.
4. All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that male and female employees receive equal pay for the same work and for the work related as equivalent and for work of equal value.
5. All employees and partners are required to comply with this policy in all dealings with employees, partners, barristers, other lawyers, clients and third parties. A breach of this requirement is a serious matter and may give rise to disciplinary action whether or not it also amounts to a breach of the relevant legislation.
6. Further clarification and guidance on this policy can be found in the Solicitor's Code of Conduct Guidance (Chapter 2) which is available at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/part2/rule2 All staff and partners are required to familiarise themselves with this guidance including the statutory provisions referred to in the guidance. In particular the following definitions apply to this policy:
- Direct discrimination: a person is treated less favourably as a result of one of the grounds set out above.
- Indirect discrimination: where the perhaps unintentional application of a rule that applies to everyone is that the proportion from a protected group who can qualify is considerably less than other groups or where an individual from a protected group can show that he or she cannot comply with the rule.
- Discrimination by association: a person is treated less favourably because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
- Perception discrimination: a person is treated less favourably as a result of others thinking they possess a particular protected characteristic (even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic).
- Victimisation: where a person is treated less favourably as a result of having made a complaint of discrimination.
- Harassment: unwanted conduct on grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief which has the purpose of violating another person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person, and which can be reasonably considered to have that effect.
7. It is the duty of all employees and partners to report any breach of this policy using either the disciplinary or the grievance procedures as appropriate.
8. The firm's Management Board will;
- Keep records of all reports and the outcomes of all reports made under this policy by employees, partners, barristers, other lawyers, clients or third parties.
- Be responsible for ensuring this policy is implemented and updated.
- Bring this policy to the attention of all employees and partners by such means including training and provision of information as may be appropriate.
- Monitor compliance with this policy and evaluate how well this policy achieves its purpose. It will review this policy and associated procedures and make amendments to them as and when necessary.