Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

Normanton Chambers is committed to providing a working environment in which members and employees are able to realise their full potential and to contribute to its business success irrespective of their gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part-time status, age, religion or belief.

Normanton Chambers values the differences that a diverse workforce brings. This is a key employment value to which all employees are expected to give their support.

Normanton Chambers is committed to identifying and eliminating unlawful discriminatory practices, procedures and attitudes throughout Normanton Chambers. Normanton Chambers expects employees to support this commitment and to assist in its realisation in all possible ways.

Specifically, Normanton Chambers aims to ensure that no employee or candidate is subject to unlawful discrimination, either directly or indirectly, on the grounds of gender, race (including colour, nationality or ethnic origin), disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part-time status, age, religion or belief. This commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including:

• recruitment and selection, including advertisements, job descriptions, interview and selection procedures;
• training;
• promotion and career development opportunities;
• terms and conditions of employment, and access to employment-related benefits and facilities;
• grievance handling and the application of disciplinary procedures; and
• selection for redundancy.

Equal opportunities practice is developing constantly as social attitudes and legislation change. Normanton Chambers will keep its policies under review and will implement changes where these could improve equality of opportunity. This commitment applies to all Normanton Chambers’s employment policies and procedures, not just those specifically connected with equal opportunities and diversity.


Harassment is physical, verbal or non-verbal behaviour which is unwanted and personally offensive to the recipient, and which causes the recipient to feel threatened, humiliated, intimidated, patronised, denigrated, bullied, distressed or harassed.
The way in which Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment will be handled
Discrimination and harassment are often complex matters, and there is no single way of dealing with every suspected or alleged instance. In some cases, employees may be able to deal satisfactorily with an issue by raising it with their immediate manager. If an employee wishes to make a formal complaint he or she should use Normanton Chambers’ Grievance Procedure which is set out in the Employee Handbook.

Normanton Chambers will treat seriously all allegations of unlawful discrimination or harassment.

As an employer, Normanton Chambers will treat all employees and job candidates equally and fairly and not discriminate unjustifiably against them. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, demotions, selection for redundancies, dress code, references, bonus schemes, work allocation and any other employment-related activities.

Recruitment and Selection

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

• it endeavours to recruit from the widest pool of qualified candidates possible;
• employment opportunities are open and accessible to all on the basis of their individual qualities and personal merit;
• 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;
• selection criteria and processes do not discriminate unjustifiably on the grounds of gender, race (including colour, nationality or ethnic origin), disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part time status, age, religion or belief, other than in those instances where Normanton Chambers is exercising lawfully permitted positive action;
• wherever appropriate and necessary, lawful exemptions (Genuine Occupational Requirements) will be used to recruit suitable employees to meet the special needs of particular groups; and
• all recruitment agencies acting for Normanton Chambers are aware of its requirement not to discriminate and to act accordingly.

Conditions of Service

Normanton Chambers will treat all employees equally and create a working environment which
is free from discrimination and harassment and which respects, where appropriate, the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of employees.

Terms and conditions of service for employees will comply with U.K. equal opportunities legislation.

The provision of benefits such as working hours, maternity and other leave arrangements, performance appraisal systems, dress code, bonus schemes and any other conditions of employment will not discriminate unlawfully against any employee on the grounds of their gender, race (including colour, nationality or ethnic origin), disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part time status, age, religion or belief.

Where appropriate and necessary, Normanton Chambers will endeavour to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service which take into account the specific needs of employees which arise from their gender, ethnic or cultural background, nationality, responsibilities as parents or carers, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, part time status, age, religion or belief.

Promotion and Career Development

Promotion within Normanton Chambers will be made without reference to any of the forbidden grounds and will be based solely on merit.

The selection criteria and processes for recruitment and promotion will be kept under review to ensure that there is no unjustifiably discriminatory impact on any particular group.

Whilst positive action measures may be taken in accordance with the relevant equal opportunities legislation to encourage underrepresented groups to apply for promotion opportunities, recruitment or promotion to all jobs will be based solely on merit.

All employees will have equal access to training and other career development opportunities appropriate to their experience and abilities. However, Normanton Chambers will take appropriate positive action measures (as permitted by the equal opportunities legislation) to provide special training and support for groups which are underrepresented in the workforce and encourage them to take up training and career development opportunities.

Promoting Equality and Diversity

This Company is committed to promoting equality and diversity in Normanton Chambers as well as in those areas in which it has influence.

Employees will be trained on this Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy and will be provided with equality and diversity training appropriate to their needs and responsibilities.

All those who act on Normanton Chambers’ behalf will be trained on Normanton Chambers’ Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy and will be expected to pay due regard to it when conducting business on Normanton Chambers’ behalf.

In all its dealings, including those with clients, customers, suppliers, contractors, recruitment agencies and the public, Normanton Chambers will seek to promote the principles of equality and diversity.

Normanton Chambers will make every effort to reflect its commitment to equality and diversity in its marketing and communication activities.

Implementing the Policy


Ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the directors of Normanton Chambers. Normanton Chambers will appoint a senior person within it to be responsible for the operation of the policy.

All employees of Normanton Chambers are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy and are responsible for ensuring compliance with it when undertaking their jobs or representing Normanton Chambers. Acts of discrimination or harassment by employees of Normanton Chambers will result in disciplinary action. Failure to comply with this policy will be treated in a similar fashion.

Complaints of Discrimination

Normanton Chambers will treat seriously, and will take action where appropriate concerning, all complaints of discrimination or harassment on any of the forbidden grounds made by employees, clients, customers, suppliers, contractors or other third parties. All complaints will be investigated in accordance with Normanton Chambers’s grievance or complaints procedure, as appropriate, and the complainant will be informed of the outcome.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

1. Normanton Chambers is committed to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion both within Chambers and more generally at the Bar. Our motto is Equality, Excellence and Equity and we strive to promote and reinforce that motto in everything we do. We aim to provide a working environment and culture which values and recognises difference and tackles discrimination pro-actively in order to ensure that no individual or group is discriminated against.

2. We treat our members as individuals with unique traits and strive to provide an inclusive and welcome environment.

3. Normanton Chambers aims to ensure that equal opportunities are provided to all individuals working within Chambers be they members of Chambers, pupils, interns, mini-pupils and/or staff. This means that all individuals working within Chambers will be afforded equal opportunities regardless of –

a. Age
b. Disability
c. Gender reassignment, identity or expression
d. Marital or civil partnership status
e. Political persuasion
f. Pregnancy and parental leave
g. Race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origin
h. Religion or belief
i. Sex or gender or personal identification
j. Sexual orientation
k. Social background
l. Any reasonable adjustment or accommodation the individual personally requires in order to feel included.

4. Normanton Chambers engages in equality monitoring, as required by the BSB .

5. Individuals within Chambers are expected to ensure that they do not personally discriminate whether consciously or unconsciously. Claims for discrimination and harassment can be brought against individuals. We must therefore all ensure that we do not improperly discriminate or assist others in doing so.

6. Individuals within Chambers are encouraged to carry out Equality and Diversity training, which will be offered from time to time. Undertaking such training is expected of those appointed to the role of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

a. When offering opportunities for promotion, transfer, training and/or career development;

b. In the application of Chambers’ Staff Handbook and specific policies that aim to secure equality and diversity within Chambers; namely –

(i) Fair Allocation of Work Policy
(ii) Respect
(iii) Caregivers Leave
(iv) Flexible Working Policy
(v) Reasonable Adjustments Policy
(vi) Wellbeing

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer

7. Normanton Chambers has an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, which is currently Andrea Barnes.


8. All individuals within Chambers are required to comply with this Policy. Failure to do so will result in the implementation of disciplinary procedures.

9. If an individual within Chambers believes that this Policy or any of Chambers’ specific policies has been breached, that individual should –

(a) If appropriate, speak to the person involved directly and ask them to stop;
(b) Raise it with a Counsellor and/or the Co-ordinator(s) under Chambers’ Respect Policy;
(c) Raise it with Chambers’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer; and/or
(d) Otherwise contact the Head of Chambers who will investigate and take appropriate action, including disciplinary if necessary, in accordance with Chambers’ constitution.

Reviewing this policy and its effectiveness

10. Chambers’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy and its implementation. This policy, and its operation, will be reviewed annually.

Published: 1 February 2019
Updated: 11 November 2020
Reviewed: November 2021,2022,2023
Date of next review: November 2024