EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY (‘EDP’)

Introduction

1. This document contains written statements on policies that are applicable to Kent Traffic Law as a Sole Practitioner practice. These policies include Equality and Diversity, Equality Monitoring,  Harassment, Reasonable Adjustments for members and clients with disabilities, Diversity data, and Complaints/Grievances policies.

2. Kent Traffic Law will comply with all legal and regulatory requirements published by the BSB in its Handbook, and any other applicable regulatory body.

Equality and Diversity

3. Kent Traffic Law is committed to the promotion of equality and diversity and to the elimination of discrimination.

4. All personnel employed under Kent Traffic Law acknowledge that they must not discriminate against any person and treat all members, staff, and clients equally.

5. The legal and regulatory requirements established in the BSB Handbook that are relevant to Kent Traffic Law as a Sole Practitioner practice will be complied with.

6. Kent Traffic Law will treat all members and staff equally and will not discriminate based on any, or any combination of, the following characteristics: Race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital and civil partnership status, disability, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, age or disability.

7. Complaints of discriminatory practices shall be dealt with by the Head of Chambers directly.

8. In recognition of the legal requirements under the Bar Standards Board, Kent Traffic Law is prohibited from conducting discriminatory practices in relation to employment.

9. Should the practise become a multi-practitioner organisation policies relevant to recruitment, fair access to and work allocation and parental leave, shall be drafted and implemented in accordance with BSB regulatory requirements.

Equality monitoring

23. Kent Traffic Law shall monitor and review diversity data in accordance with BSB regulatory requirements. Anonymized summaries of diversity data shall be collected and published by the Diversity Data Officer every 3 years. Due to the size and nature of Kent Traffic Law being a sole practitioner firm with less than 3 personnel, anonymized data that can easily identify personnel will not be published unless the Chambers has been given consent to do so.

The regulatory requirements as set out in the BSB Handbook are applicable to the collection of diversity data monitoring.

Harassment

10. This policy covers all those working in chambers, visiting chambers and providing services to chambers.

11. Kent Traffic Law is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals, clients and the public are treated with dignity and respect. The Head of Chambers, Sunil Rupasinha, is determined to promote a work environment in which everyone is treated equally and with dignity.

12. Harassment in any form will not be tolerated at Kent Traffic Law. Harassment includes any unwanted conduct related to sex, race, disability, gender re-assignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age or to any combination of the above-mentioned characteristics. 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.

13. 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;

• Bullying;

• 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.

14. 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.

15. Harassment is misconduct for employees or a breach of the Bar Code of Conduct for barristers. Allegations of harassment will be dealt with by the Head of Chambers.

16. 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.

17. A copy of this policy is provided to all those for whom chambers constitutes a working environment. This can include members of chambers, pupils, squatters, clerks and other employees, temporary workers, those who provide services to chambers such as IT consultants, mini-pupils and work experience students.

Disability and reasonable adjustments

18. Kent Traffic Law is committed to making reasonable adjustments in order to remove or reduce substantial disadvantage for disabled people working with chambers or receiving legal services. This policy covers all employees of chambers, barristers, mini-pupils and visitors to chambers.

Circulation

19. This policy is circulated to all members and staff ie those who are required to read and understand it.

Definition of disability

20. For the purposes of this policy the definition of disability follows that set out in the Equality Act 2010 s.6. A person is therefore disabled if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. “Substantial” means more than minor or trivial and “long term” means 12 months or more”.

Types of reasonable adjustment

21. This policy does not provide an exhaustive list of the reasonable adjustments that chambers will make for staff, barristers, or visitors however the following types of adjustment that may be made are listed below:

a. Provision of accessible conference room facilities.

Visitors to chambers

22. Barristers are responsible for considering reasonable adjustment requests for their visitors. They are also responsible for anticipating any likely reasonable adjustments that will need to be made for visitors whom they know to be disabled and are likely to require assistance. Visitor requests for specific reasonable adjustments may be made by contacting Kent Traffic Law directly at 01622 320340.

Cost of making reasonable adjustments

23. In no circumstances will Kent Traffic Law pass on the cost of a reasonable adjustment to a disabled person.

Monitoring and review

24. This policy is reviewed by chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer every two years. The date of the last review was 1.9.20.

Diversity Data

This is the Data Diversity Policy for Kent Traffic Law. This policy is effective as of 1.9.20.

25. The name of the Diversity Data Officer is Sunil Rupasinha.

 

Collection of Diversity Data

26. Members of chambers’ workforce are given the opportunity to provide their Diversity Data for collection in accordance with the Bar Standards Board’s requirements. The Diversity Data Officer is responsible for arranging and supervising the collection of Diversity Data.

Why Diversity Data is collected

27. Individuals have the opportunity to provide their Diversity Data in order for Kent Traffic Law to publish an anonymous summary of such data. This provides transparency concerning recruiting and employment activities across chambers and analysis of diversity data encourages a strong, diverse and effective legal profession. Please note: You are not obliged to provide your Diversity Data. You are free to provide all, some or none of your Diversity Data.

How Diversity Data is collected

28. Diversity Data will be collected through Questionnaires disseminated virtually or physically and will be returned following the protocol established by the Diversity Data Officer.

29. A consent form must be provided along with the diversity data questionnaire in order to keep the diversity data secure. Consent can be withdrawn at any time and the ability to provide diversity data is completely voluntary.

30. All Diversity Data that is collected from individuals will be kept securely

31. Kent Traffic Law will not share Diversity Data with any third parties.

32. Should you access or disclose Diversity Data accidentally or intentionally when you are not authorised to do so, you must notify the Diversity Data Officer immediately.

33. Kent Traffic Law is required to anonymise Diversity Data before publishing it in summary form.

 

Publication of the anonymised summary of Diversity Data

34 . Where there are fewer than 10 (ten) individuals within each published category who identify through the questionnaire with the same diversity characteristic (for example, 4 (four) individuals with a job role at the same level of seniority identify themselves as disabled), The Diversity Data Officer will not publish the anonymous data relating to those individuals unless it has their informed consent to do so.

Destruction of Diversity Data

35. The Diversity Data Officer will securely destroy the Diversity Data collected promptly after the Data has been anonymised and in any event within 3 (three) months following the date of collection. Secure destruction means that as far as possible we shall not hold the Diversity Data in any way where it is possible to identify an individual. In practice, this entails shredding physical questionnaires and erasing virtual copies.

36. Anonymised data will be kept for 12 months before being destroyed as above.

Complaints and grievances

37. Complaints and grievances arising from the implementation of this EDP and all associated policies and procedures should be dealt with under the discretion of the Equality Diversity Officer or the Head of Chambers.

Implementation and review

38. The Head of Chambers is responsible for ensuring the overall implementation of this EDP.

39. An Equality and Diversity Officer (‘the EDO’) will be appointed at all times to further ensure the implementation, monitoring and review of this policy.

40. This EDP will be reviewed no less than annually by the EDO. Should the practice become multi-practitioner there an associated action plan will be created.

Appointments under this Equality and Diversity Policy
EDO – Sunil Rupasinha
DDO – Sunil Rupasinha

This policy was implemented on 1.9.20 and will be reviewed on 30.8.23