equality and diversity .

Archers Law is committed to providing equal opportunities. This means that all clients, suppliers, job applicants and employees will receive equal treatment regardless of sex, sexual orientation, marital status including civil partnership status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity or paternity, race, religion or belief, age, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, or disability.

The firm’s equal opportunities policy relates to:

• employment and partnership

• delivery of service

• recruitment, selection and progression of staff

• training and conditions of service

• the delivery of services and acceptance of instructions;

• use of outside experts and counsel.

• a procedure to deal with complaints

• disciplinary issues

• reasonable adjustments for personnel and clients

• an annual procedure to monitor diversity 
 
 Instructions from clients that would fall outside these parameters are not accepted.
 
Legislation
 
It is unlawful by virtue of the Equality Act 2010 to discriminate against individuals, directly, indirectly, by association or perception in respect of a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics, for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 are; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. In addition, section 20 Equality Act 2010 imposes an obligation on employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the workplace for disabled employees.
 
Codes of Practice relating to sex and race discrimination have been produced by the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality and these, together with the Law Society’s policy statement, have been used as a basis for this policy.
 
Against our policy

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

Direct discrimination where a person is less favourably treated because of sex, race or disability. An example is if someone is refused promotion on the grounds that he or she is black or disabled;

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 (such as the requirement for a driving licence for a job which is mainly office-based);
 
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.
 
Positive Action By The Firm
 
Recruitment and selection:
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.
 
All job advertisements wherever placed will include the following statement:
 
This firm welcomes applications from all sections of the community irrespective of race, colour, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or beliefs.
 
Progression and performance:
Promotion within the firm is based solely on merit and performance.
 
Breach - Discipline and grievance:
The firm will treat seriously and take action when any employee has a grievance as a result of discrimination or harassment on sexual or racial grounds or on grounds of disability.
 
The firm has a disciplinary and grievance procedure that deals with complaints and disciplinary issues in breach of this policy. 
 
Monitor diversity and equality data:
As a firm regulated by the SRA we collect and report workforce diversity data about the diversity make-up of their workforce annually. We also publish this data on the Intranet. We have not made the completion of a questionnaire mandatory.
 
Training of all personnel in diversity:
The firm will update all new starters on the equality and diversity policy in the inductions schedule and update existing employees when necessary.

Reasonable adjustments policy:
The firm has produced a reasonable adjustments policy for both employees and clients. We are committed to take reasonable steps in the way that we work with disabled people so they are not disadvantaged in comparison to people who are not disabled.

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