Equality & Diversity Policy

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY (“EDP”)

  1. THE FIRM’S COMMITMENT
  2. HUSANES LLP (“the Firm”) is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in its own policies, practices and procedures and in those areas in which it has influence. This applies to the Firm's professional dealings with staff and partners, other solicitors, barristers, clients and any other people the Firm has dealings with in the course of its business.

    The Firm intends to treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect. The Firm will not unlawfully discriminate against anyone with any one or more of the following Protected Characteristics :

    Age; Disability; Gender Reassignment; Marriage and Civil Partnership; Pregnancy and Maternity; Race; Religion or Belief; Sex; and Sexual Orientation.

    The Firm is committed to complying with all current and any future anti-discrimination legislation and associated codes of practice, including the SRA Handbook and the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”).

  3. FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
  4. The Firm’s EDP prohibits the following kinds of conduct as they constitute or are deemed to constitute unlawful discrimination:

    2.1 Direct discrimination – this is where a person is treated less favourably than another person because they have a Protected Characteristic, or they are thought to have a Protected Characteristic, or they associate with someone who has a Protected Characteristic. Direct discrimination is almost always unlawful, with an exception where discrimination on the basis of age is justifiable where it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

    2.2 Indirect discrimination – this is where a provision, practice or criterion is seemingly neutral as it applies to everyone but causes a particular disadvantage to people who share a relevant Protected Characteristic. Such a provision, practice or criterion can only be justified if it is proportionate and for achieving a legitimate aim.

    2.3 Related Issues

    Disability Discrimination occurs where a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of their disability and this treatment cannot be justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. It also occurs where there has been a failure to comply with the duty to take reasonable steps or make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons, where they are put at a substantial disadvantage when compared to persons without such a disability, by a provision, practice or criterion or by a physical feature or the failure to provide an auxiliary aid.

    Harassment is caused by unwanted conduct related to a relevant Protected Characteristic (e.g. unwanted conduct of a sexual nature) with the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or of creating an environment for that individual which is intimidating, humiliating, hostile, degrading, or offensive.

    Victimisation occurs where a person is made to suffer a detriment because they have carried out a "Protected Act" such as bringing proceedings under the Act, giving evidence or information in connection with such proceedings, doing any other thing for the purposes of or in connection with complying with the Act, or making an allegation (whether or not express) that another person has done something in breach of the Act.

    The Firm will not, in the course of its professional dealings, unlawfully discriminate, harass or victimise those groups of people with Protected Characteristics. The Firm will comply with its duty to make reasonable adjustments and take reasonable steps for disabled persons.

  5. EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
  6. The Firm will create a working environment which is free from discrimination and harassment. It will, where appropriate, respect the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of employees.

    The Firm will treat all job applicants and employees equally and fairly and will not discriminate unlawfully against them. This policy will run through all aspects of the Firm’s employment policy and practices from recruitment and selection, terms of employment, training, promotions, remuneration, disciplinary and dismissal.

    Recruitment and Selection : The Firm recognises the benefits of having a diverse workforce and will endeavour to recruit from the widest pool of qualified candidates possible, based on individual qualities and personal merit. The Firm will ensure that its’ processes and selection criteria do not discriminate unjustifiably on the grounds of any Protected Characteristic, other than in those instances where the Firm is exercising permitted positive action.

    Training Plan : The Firm will identify its training needs in relation to equality and diversity and prepare a plan to address these, where appropriate and proportionate to their responsibilities. The plan will include details of when and the kind of training to be provided, the individuals to be trained and the person(s) who is responsible for ensuring delivery of the training.

  7. BARRISTERS AND THIRD PARTIES
  8. Barristers will not be instructed in a way that unlawfully discriminates. Barristers should be instructed on the basis of their skills, experience and ability. Any request for a named barrister will be complied with, subject to the Firm's duty to discuss with the client the suitability of the barrister and taking into account the Firm’s EDP.

    In the event of a client request for a barrister, with or without a specific Protected Characteristic, the Firm will require a valid reason to pursue such a request. The reason must be one that is within the permitted exemptions of the anti-discrimination legislation. If the instructions are given on discriminatory grounds and without a valid reason (i.e no permitted exemption), the Firm will seek a modification to the client’s instructions. If the client refuses to modify such instructions to the extent they are given on discriminatory grounds, the Firm will cease to act.

    Suppliers and all parties such as contractors, agents and other third parties who are regarded as suitable to be instructed by the Firm, will be compiled only on the basis of the ability of those persons or organisations to undertake work of a particular type and contain no discriminatory exclusion, restriction or preference.

  9. CLIENTS
  10. The Firm will not discriminate unlawfully in refusing to act for a client. The Firm will take steps to meet the different needs of particular clients arising from its obligations under the anti-discrimination legislation.

  11. PROMOTING EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
  12. This firm is committed to promoting equality and diversity not only within the Firm, but also in those areas in which it has influence.

    Partners and employees will be informed of this EDP. They will be provided with equality and diversity training, appropriate to their needs and responsibilities. All Partners and employees must comply with the EDP. All those who act on the Firm's behalf will be informed of this EDP and will be expected to pay due regard to it when conducting business on the Firm's behalf.

    In all its dealings, including those with suppliers, contractors and recruitment agencies, the Firm will seek to promote the principles of equality and diversity.

  13. IMPLEMENTING THE POLICY
  14. The Partners have ultimate responsibility for implementing this EDP.

    The EDP is not part of any contract of employment or partnership agreement and may be changed at any time. That said, it is a requirement of the Firm that all employees and Partners comply with the EDP and with the provisions of Chapter 2 of the SRA Handbook.

    The EDP forms part of the staff handbook and applies to all who are employed in the Firm and to all Partners. Any unlawful acts of discrimination or harassment, or a failure to comply with this EDP, by anyone at the Firm will result in disciplinary action.

    Any unlawful acts of discrimination or harassment by those providing services on behalf of the Firm, will lead to appropriate action. This may including termination of services where appropriate.

    Every member of the Firm will receive a copy of this policy. It is also available on request to any client and to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. A copy of the policy is included in the Firm’s website.

    All complaints of unlawful discrimination or harassment made by employees, Partners, clients, barristers or other third parties, will be treated seriously. The Firm will investigate all such complaints in accordance with the Firm's grievance or complaints procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome, with further action being taken, where appropriate.

    The policy will be monitored and reviewed annually by the Firm to measure its progress and effectiveness. In particular (but without limitation) the Firm will monitor the number and outcome of complaints under the EDP, the action taken (if any) against employees by race, sex, age and disability and any new policy or practice that could result in disadvantaging employees with a Protected Characteristic. This information will be used to review the progress and impact of the EDP and any changes required will be made and implemented acordingly.
HUSANES LLP
40 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0BT
Tel: +44 (0)20 7118 2777
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www.husanesllp.com
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