Diversity Policy and Data For Taylors

The firm has the following Equality and Diversity Policy:

1. The firm has the following written Equality and Diversity Policy that is in effective operation. (D1.3).

2. The person with responsibility for implementing Equality and Diversity in the policy is Fiona Taylor. (D1.3) The firm is a Level 2. (D1.3).

3. Equal Opportunities Statement

i) General Statement

The firm is committed to provide equal opportunities in employment, client management and the provision and receipt of services. This means that all job applicants and employees, clients, agents of the firm or suppliers to the firm will receive equal treatment regardless of sex, age, religion, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, or disability.

Furthermore there will be no discrimination in the event of somebody:

• being or becoming a transsexual person
• being married or in a civil partnership
• being pregnant or on maternity leave
• disability
• race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
• religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
• sex
• sexual orientation
• gender or gender orientation

It is good business sense for the firm to ensure that its most important resource, its staff, is used in a fair and effective way.

The principal is responsible for the implementation of the equality and diversity policy within the practice in terms of recruitment, training, and in general.

ii) Legislation

It is unlawful to discriminate against individuals on the basis of age, sex, race, sexual orientation, religious belief or disability. This applies to clients and all staff. The firm has an equal opportunities policy with regard to recruitment of staff and discrimination will not be tolerated.

iii) Forms of Discrimination

The following are the kinds of discrimination which are against the firm’s policy:-

a. direct discrimination, where a person is less favourably treated because of age sex, race, religious belief, or disability.

b. indirect discrimination, where a requirement or condition which cannot be justified is applied equally to all groups but has a disproportionately adverse effect on one particular group. An example is where an age limit for new recruits may exclude many women of that age group because they are unable to apply for the job as a result of family commitments, or the restricting of recruitment to areas where there are few ethnic minorities, or a requirement which is non-essential to the job description which may exclude a disabled person.

c. victimisation, where someone is treated less favourably than others because he or she has taken action against the Firm under one of the relevant Acts.

4.2 (a) Recruitment

The Firm will take steps to ensure that applications are attracted from both sexes and all races and from disabled people, and will ensure that there are equal opportunities in all stages of the recruitment process.
Where appropriate, staff responsible for recruitment will receive training in equal opportunities, and guidance will be available to all staff.
Promotion within the Firm is based solely on merit, and without regard to race, sex or disability.

4.2 (b) Procedure for Dealing with Complaints and Breaches of the Procedure

The Firm will treat seriously and take action when any employee who might later be employed has a grievance as a result of discrimination or harassment on sexual or racial grounds or disability.

Any complaint should be made to Fiona Taylor. Fiona Taylor will seek to identify any breach of the procedure. She will fully investigate any complaint that is made. A complaint can be made in any form, including in writing, orally or in person. She will seek to address any complaint that is made. If the complaint cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, she will offer the opportunity to refer the matter to a third party arbiter (James Foster of Davies, Blunden & Evans Solicitors) at no cost to the complainant. If the complaint refers to Fiona Taylor, she will invite the complainant to refer the matter to an independent arbiter as above if it cannot be resolved. In the event of anybody being employed by the firm, the office manual will be edited to include a comprehensive complaints and grievance procedure.

4.2 (c) Monitoring and review

This policy will be monitored by the principal to judge its effectiveness. In particular, the principal will monitor the ethnic and sexual composition of its staff if further staff are employed, and of applicants for jobs and the number of disabled people within these groups, and will review its equal opportunities policy in accordance with the results shown by the monitoring. If changes are required, the Firm will implement them. Any paperwork in connection with applications for jobs, job offers and responses shall be retained by the principal for a minimum period of twelve months. Any unsuccessful applicants, who have been shortlisted for a job, shall receive a prompt response if they have not been selected and invited to write to the Firm with any observations they may have. This paperwork will be kept on file for a period of twelve months in order to provide feedback to any unsuccessful applicant who requests it.

4.2 (d) Training of Personnel

Fiona Taylor presently lectures in discrimination. She will keep up-to-date in equality and discrimination legislation and employment practice. In the event of changes in the law, she will familiarise herself with those changes. When she reflects upon her practise, if needs be, she will undertake further training. If new staff are taken on, the office manual will be amended to provide for training of personnel.

4.2 (e) Provision of Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Clients and Staff

1) Non Discrimination and Reasonable Adjustment

Taylors will not tolerate any form of discrimination. It recognizes that the following types of discrimination (‘protected characteristics’) are unlawful in the workplace: (www.gov.uk).

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:

• age
• being or becoming a transsexual person
• being married or in a civil partnership
• being pregnant or on maternity leave
• disability
• race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
• religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
• sex
• sexual orientation

These are called ‘protected characteristics’.

Clients, staff and anybody doing work for the firm is legally protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010. They are also protected from discrimination if:

• they are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, eg a family member or friend
• they have complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim
The Firm will accept instructions from clients without regard to age, being or becoming a transsexual person, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, belief or lack of religion/belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender orientation.

The same considerations apply to clients and suppliers of goods and services.

Reasonable Adjustments

Whenever possible facilities will be made available for interviews on the ground floor of any of the Firm’s offices so that there will be full access for any clients in wheelchairs.
Whenever possible, Fiona Taylor will be prepared to visit clients at their homes where they cannot physically come into the office or in appropriate cases, in hospital, provided there are not risks to her health and safety.

Whenever practicable Fiona Taylor will visit clients where advice is required at Police Stations or if the client is remanded in prison.

In the case of a client who does not speak English it must be made clear to the client before instructions are accepted that there are no facilities for interpreters within the Firm and that the client must provide his/her own interpreter.

The business will be run in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity.

1. The firm recognizes its duty to make reasonable adjustments as follows:

The firm recognizes its duty, which comprises the following three requirements to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take:

i. to avoid a disadvantage where a provision, criterion or practice you otherwise adopt puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled.

ii. to avoid the disadvantage, where a physical feature puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled

iii. to provide the auxiliary aid where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled

The following points will be considered when thinking about whether an adjustment is ‘reasonable’ or not:

• The cost of the adjustment in relation to the overall value of the service (the cost of the adjustment would need to be significant to justify not making the adjustment on cost grounds alone).• The extent of any disruption or loss of service as a result.
• Whether it is possible to deliver the service in another way without any reduction in the quality of client care offered.
• The size, resources and ability of the practice to manage the reasonable adjustment.

When considering making a reasonable adjustment for a client, the following questions can be used in considering the request properly:

1. What will the cost of making the adjustment be?
2. Will the cost be prohibitive? (This will depend on the size, and financial resources of your practice and can vary from request to request. Deciding not to make an adjustment on the basis of cost alone will rely on being able to demonstrate that the disruption or impact on the firm would be severe)
3. Have you accessed external advice on making adjustments? (eg Access to Work, disability charities, specialist organisations etc)
4. Are there other ways of delivering the service which would suit the client and practice while avoiding issues of access and/or accessibility? (eg mini-com services, instant messenger services, Skype, etc)
5. Have you discussed the available options with the client to understand how you might be able to meet their needs?
6. Will the client face a substantial disadvantage (which is more than minor or trivial) when accessing the service in comparison to a non-disabled client?
7. Will the adjustment result in the client receiving a level of service you would expect to give to other clients?

An example of reasonable adjustments for service providers:

1. Having an accessible website which can be used by people using assistive technology
2. Altering the location of client meetings where a venue is not accessible
3. Providing and utilising alternative methods for communicating with the client eg instant messaging services, skype, teleconferencing, etc
4. Providing advice in alternative formats upon request e.g. audio versions, large print and/or Braille versions
5. Providing auxiliary aids such as hearing loops and making sure the auxiliary devices are turned on and fully functioning

The practice will not tolerate bullying and harassment, or sending inappropriate emails, whether or not directed to individuals concerned.

Reasonable adjustments for employees

The firm will not initially have any employees, but once it does have, a policy for reasonable adjustment will be formulated. Making adjustments for an employee need not be expensive or lead to a drop in performance or productivity. The ability to think creatively in coming up with solutions is key to making successful adjustments and to understand, in some cases, that the use of expert external organizations may be necessary to ensure the required adjustments can be properly scoped and considered.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include:
• altering working patterns (flexible working)
• remote working
• auxillary aids (eg speech recognition software, screen readers etc. Also consider available support such as Access to Work, a government-funded programme which may be able to assist with cost of assistive technology)
• phased returns to work following periods of absence if disability related
• discounting disability related leave from general sick leave
Reasonable adjustments for service providers
As a service provider the firm must ensure that a disabled client is not put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled service user. As mentioned above, this is defined in the Equality Act 2010 s.212 (1) as ‘more than minor or trivial’.
Fiona Taylor will ensure that any complaints of discrimination are dealt with promptly, fairly, openly, and effectively.
In the event that disabled clients require assistance, reasonable adjustments will be made to accommodate their needs. This will include ensuring that office premises are accessible by wheelchair, have appropriate accessible bathroom facilities and potential to provide refreshment. If necessary, out of office appointments can be made at no additional cost if disability of difficulty in access or support makes attending the office difficult.
Arrangements will be made to seek to accommodate those with visual or auditory impairment, such as the use of large print or arranging for somebody who can speak in sign language to be present. The firm’s website will be designed in accordance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Web “content” generally refers to the information in a web page or web application, including:
• natural information such as text, images, and sounds
• code or markup that defines structure, presentation, etc.
In the event of a client suffering from mental health problems, consideration will be given to arranging for an appropriate adult to be present to assist the client if the need is appropriate.
In all instances of a disability being identified relating to a client, service provider or personnel, careful consideration must be given as to whether that person would be at a substantial disadvantage if no such adjustment was made. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate the needs identified. No cost of providing reasonable adjustment will be passed onto a client or employee. If appropriate, resort will be had to third party supportive agencies to facilitate the client (with their permission and appropriate confidentiality agreements).

The following organizations may be useful:

• Remploy
• Shaw Trust
• Action on Hearing Loss
• Employers Forum on Disability
• Access to Work

Taylors In compliance with the SRA requirements for legal practices, the following is the firm’s Diversity Data:

The principal of the firm is Fiona Taylor. She is female, of white ethnicity, born in the UK. Her year of birth is 1965. Her schooling was State Schooling from the ages of 11-16, and State-Funded Public Schooling from 16-18 (under a supported local authority scheme as the comprehensive school did not have ‘A’ Level teaching). She was a member of the first generation of her family to got to university. She does not have any disabilities. Details of her relationship preferences, religious beliefs and caring for others are withheld.