JPP Equality Policy
The Firm is committed to providing equal opportunities to all applicants, employees, consultants and to complying with all applicable laws
The Firm is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst its employees and consultants and to a policy of equality and diversity (irrespective of seniority). All employees, potential employees and consultants will receive equal treatment (including, where applicable, access to training, facilities and opportunities for promotion) regardless of race, colour, nationality or ethnic/national origin, religious or philosophical belief, gender, marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability and age.
SCOPE – INTERNAL
- All recruitment publicity aims to encourage applications from all individuals who have appropriate qualifications and/or experience.
- Selection criteria and procedures will be continually reviewed to ensure that applicants are assessed objectively on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.
- It is against the Firm’s policy to offer discriminatory terms and conditions of employment or engagment.
- All promotion is strictly on the basis of ability to perform the job. No decision to promote will be made on a discriminatory basis.
- Wherever possible and appropriate, specific training and encouragement will be given to ensure equality of opportunities within the Firm.
- Any restrictions which are imposed by the Firm will be justifiable and non-discriminatory and in compliance with all statutory requirements.
- Any requirement of employees or request made of consultants to travel extensively or work beyond their normal hours of work will be kept to a minimum (subject to operational needs) and applied in a non-discriminatory manner. The Firm will, wherever appropriate, try to devise an alternative where employees have difficulties in meeting such requirements and accepts that consultants are entitled to set their hours of work.
- The Firm is highly supportive of flexible working both in terms of hours worked and location of workplace.
- Demands of religious or philosophical belief, (e.g. prayer time and religious holidays), culture (e.g. traditional dress) and special dietary needs will be accommodated wherever reasonably practicable.
SCOPE – EXTERNAL
- Whilst the Firm is generally free to decide whether to accept instructions from any particular client, no client will be refused our assistance because of race, colour, nationality or ethnic/national origin, religious or philosophical belief, gender, marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or age.
- The Firm will assist clients and potential clients as required under the Equality Act 2010 and take any further lawful positive action to assist clients and potential clients where it seems such action is appropriate.
- It is against the Firm’s policy in any way to offer discriminatory terms and conditions to, or deal in a discriminatory fashion with the Firm’s clients, vendors, or any other third party providing services or products to the Firm which would be contrary to the Firm’s policy.
- All suppliers, agents, contractors and other third parties engaged by the Firm are chosen on merit and suitability for the relevant task. Such decisions are untarnished by discrimintaion relating to race, colour, nationality or ethnic/national origin, religious or philosophical belief, gender, marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or age.
- The Firm will not accept discriminatory instructions from clients.
- A copy of this policy document will be given to all employees and consultants.
- All employees and consultants working for the Firm must be aware of this policy and ensure that their behaviour is non-discriminatory.
- The Managing Partner is responsible for monitoring and implementing this policy, ensuring that any problems are dealt with promptly.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with this policy. If any employee or consultant considers that this policy has been breached or has any doubts or queries about this policy then they should consult the Managing Partner.
- If any employee or consultant feels that they have suffered discrimination then, if possible, they should approach the relevant individual(s) to discuss problems directly and try to resolve the matter informally. However, it is recognised that this is not always possible, in which case employees and consultants are encouraged to implement the procedure set out below. At any point, employees and consultants may, if they wish, discuss the matter with the Managing Partner on a confidential and informal basis.
- Any employee or consultant who is found to be in breach of this policy may be subject disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal/immediate termination of their contract for services. Breaches of this policy will, in most cases, amount to gross misconduct, as will all forms of harassment. An employee or consultant may also be personally liable for unlawful discriminatory treatment and subject to criminal proceedings.
- An employee or consultant who wishes to implement this procedure should provide the Managing Partner with clear written details and stating that they feel they have been treated in breach of the policy. This should be done as soon as possible after the relevant event(s).
- The procedure will be carried out in the strictest confidence and anyone raising an allegation of discrimination in good faith will not be victimised or subject to any form of detriment. False allegations however, or those made in bad faith, will be treated as a disciplinary matter and may result in disciplinary action up to and including summary dismissal/immediate termination of their contract for services.
- The Managing Partner will try to resolve the matter informally. If this is not possible, all concerned parties will be informed, a full investigation will be carried out and a meeting held where all parties will be given an opportunity to state their case. The Managing Partner will then make an appropriate decision and, if necessary, recommend what action is to be taken.
JPP Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy
DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT AND BULLYING
Harassment occurs where a person engages in unwanted conduct related to an employee’s/consultant’s race, colour, ethnic/national origin, nationality, religion or philosophical belief, gender, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or disability and such conduct has the purpose or effect of violating the employee or consultant’s dignity at work, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive work environment for the employee or consultant.
Harassment also occurs where a person engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or treats someone less favourably because they have rejected or accepted sexual advances, where the conduct has the purpose or effect as described above.
- unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, other conduct of a sexual nature;
- subjection to obscene or other sexually suggestive or racist comments or gestures;
- the offer of rewards for going along with sexual advances or threats for rejecting sexual advances;
- jokes or pictures of a sexual or racial nature;
- demeaning comments about an employee’s appearance;
- questions about a person’s sex life;
- the use of nick names related to an employee’s sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, religion, age or disability;
- “jokes” about a person’s age;
- outing or threatening to out someone as gay or lesbian;
- offensive e-mails, text messages or social media content;
- mocking, mimicking or belittling a person’s disability;
- picking on or ridiculing an employee for a reason related to any of the characteristics explained above;
- isolating an employee or excluding him or her from social activities or relevant work-related matters for a reason related to any of the characteristics explained above.
Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour or an abuse or misuse of power which undermines, humiliates, upsets an employee or consultant or makes then feel vulnerable. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority, but can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation.
The Firm strives to maintain a professional environment in which everyone is treated with courtesy, respect and dignity. As part of that effort, the Firm prohibits any conduct, communication or display regarding a person’s race, colour, ethnic/national origin, nationality, religion or philosophical belief, gender, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or disability, that fails to respect the person’s dignity, interferes with a person’s work performance or creates an intimidating work environment.
This policy covers behaviour which occurs in the workplace or outside the workplace, if on Firm business or if the behaviour is directly connected to a person’s employment/engagement. The Firm recognises that harassment can also occur when an employee or consultant is repeatedly subjected to such treatment by a client or third party (who comes into contact with the employee or consultant in connection with Firm business) and employees/consultants are encouraged to bring any such harassment to the Firm’s attention without delay.
If an employee or consultant encounters a situation which may amount to bullying or harassment, then they should, if possible, explain to the relevant person(s) that their behaviour could amount to bullying/harassment and ask them to stop.
Employees and consultants may, if they wish, discuss any concerns with the Managing Partner on a confidential and informal basis. If this is ineffective, employees and consultants are encouraged to submit a written complaint to the Managing Partner who will investigate the matter fully and in complete confidence and may recommend that the disciplinary procedure is implemented. Any employee or consultant who is found to be in breach of this policy may be subject disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal/immediate termination of their contract for services.
Anyone raising an allegation of bullying or harassment in good faith will not be victimised or subject to any form of detriment. False allegations however, or those made in bad faith, will be treated as a disciplinary matter and may result in disciplinary action up to and including summary dismissal.
All Partners, lawyers and managers are responsible for eliminating any bullying or harassment of which they are aware.