Equality Policy

Everyone at HAEME LEW has a duty to act in accordance with our equality and diversity policy. They must treat others with dignity at all times, and not discriminate against or harass job applicants or other employees regardless of their status.

Our equality and diversity policy covers:

Commitment

We, the LLP Members of the firm, are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures.  We are also committed to promoting equality and diversity in the firm.  This applies to our professional dealings with clients, staff and members, other solicitors, barristers and third parties.

In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, we shall treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of:

(i)    age;

(ii)   disability;

(ii)   gender reassignment;

(iv)  race;

(v)   religion or belief;

(vi)  sex;

(vii) sexual orientation;

(viii) marriage or civil partnership status or

(ix)  pregnancy and maternity.

Discrimination

Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Recruitment and selection

Job applicants do not suffer discrimination, job selection criteria are regularly reviewed to ensure they are relevant to the job, and short listing of applicants is completed by more than one person.

Recruitment and Selection

This firm recognises the benefits of having a diverse workforce and will take steps to ensure that:

(i)    we endeavour to recruit from the widest pool of qualified candidates practicable;

(ii)   employment opportunities are open and accessible to all on the basis of their individual qualities and personal merit;

(iii)  where appropriate, positive action measures are taken to attract applications from all sections of society and especially from those groups which are underrepresented in the workforce;

(iv)  selection criteria and processes do not unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity), sexual orientation (including civil partnership status), religion or belief, age or disability; other than in those instances where the firm is exercising permitted positive action or a permitted exemption;

(v)  wherever appropriate and necessary, lawful exemptions (genuine occupational requirements) will be used to recruit suitable staff to meet the special needs of particular groups;

(vi)  all recruitment agencies acting for the firm are aware of requirements not to discriminate and to act accordingly.

Training and promotion

Training needs are identified through regular reviews. All promotion decisions will be made on the basis of merit.

This Training Plan is intended to ensure that all staff and members are fully conversant with, and able to put into force the requirements of the Equality and Diversity Policy.

It is important that all staff and Members are fully trained on the Equality and Diversity Policy as it is expected that the policy should be adhered to in relation to dealings with; other members of staff or Members, clients, other professionals, and any other person to whom a member of staff or Member may come into contact with during their course of employment.

Training shall take place annually and shall be conducted by Mr Jonathan Mason in small group discussions to take place at each individual office.

The training shall take the format of an open discussion surrounding the policy which will be made available in print format at the training session.

The discussions will center around, but not be limited to the following basic areas:

General cultural awareness training:  ie, recognising how we form stereotypes and prejudices and how to avoid acting on them in our working lives, whether dealing with colleagues client or third parties. Cultural awareness training will cover discrimination on any ground such as age, carers, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation and religion or belief.

Equality training:  this will look at practical steps that staff can take in relation to customer service and in the workplace that may be appropriate to particular jobs that staff may have with an emphasis on the practical steps that can be taken to put into practice the Policy.

The equality training will provide an open forum discussion for practical information for all members of staff on how to meet the needs of the client with particular attention to the clients we serve taking into account their age, carers, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation and religion or belief. Training will be provided on the different types of disability and steps that we may need to make reasonable adjustments.

Employment:  Training will also take place in relation to all Members and any staff with managerial responsibility on how to meet employee diversity needs with particular attention to responsibilities relating to age, carers, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation and religion or belief. In respect of disability, attention will be paid to the different types of disability and to steps that managers may need to take to make reasonable adjustments.​

Termination of employment

Any disciplinary procedures and penalties are applied without discrimination and redundancy criterion and procedures are fair and objective.

Treating outside parties

 

Kennedys is free to accept instruction from any particular client and refusal to act will not be based on any protected characteristics. Lawyers will be instructed based on their skills, experience and ability.

Monitoring

 

Workforce composition is monitored at all levels to ensure equality of opportunity across the firm. Where appropriate, steps will be taken to identify and remove unjustified barriers.

(i)    The firm will monitor and record equal opportunities information about staff, members on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, and disability.

(ii)    Where it is possible to do so, and where doing so will not cause offence or discomfort to those whom it is intended to protect, we will monitor the sexual orientation and religion or belief of staff, members so as to ensure that they are not being discriminated against in terms of the opportunities or benefits available to them.  We are aware that individuals may choose not to disclose their sexual orientation or religion or belief and that care will be taken to avoid inadvertent discrimination in such cases.

We will store equal opportunities data as confidential personal data and restrict access to this information.  Equal opportunities information will be used for exclusively for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring and have no bearing on opportunities or benefits.

The firm will monitor all elements of:

  • recruitment and selection process (applicants and existing staff and members);

  • promotion and transfer;

  • training (all training opportunities not restricted to equality and diversity training);

  • terms and conditions of employment;

  • take up of benefits (work life balance policies eg flexible working requests)

  • grievance and disciplinary procedures;

  • resignations, redundancies, and dismissals.

 

The firm will provide equal opportunities information to the Legal Aid Agency as required in relation to personnel and clients under the terms of the LAA Contracts.

Disabled employees

Those with a disability will be treated fairly and reasonable adjustments to the workplace, or job content, will be made to ensure that an employee with a disability is not disadvantaged.

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