As a company, Tisshaws is committed to eliminating discrimination, alongside promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in our policies, practises and procedures. As a result, we aim to treat everyone equally with the same attention, courtesy and respect and are compliant with, and supportive of, the Equality Act 2010.
The Act offers protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation, highlighting nine protected characteristics – age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
We all receive training on an annual basis in equality and diversity issues and this forms an integral part of our induction training.
Our EDI policies and procedures apply to the firm’s professional dealings both internally and externally. All the team and all of our outsourced suppliers must comply and we do not tolerate anything that breaches this.
We also monitor, report and publish diversity data as required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In this respect, we monitor our workforce and job candidates on a confidential basis, to assess levels of diversity in terms of protected characteristics. This information helps us to assess whether we are meeting our equality and diversity aims, helps us to set future targets and plan for positive action campaigns.
To ensure equality in the treatment of employees, we have implemented the Employers’ Guidance published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (February 2019), as well as the ACAS Advice (March 2016). This includes an annual audit to identify any areas where there is a risk of non-compliance, along with annual training on anti-discrimination policies and practises.
What’s more, we recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce and recruit from the widest pool of potential candidates based on individual qualities and personal merit. Where appropriate, positive action measures are taken to attract applications from those groups underrepresented in our workforce.
We treat everyone equally and seek to create a working environment free from discrimination. Benefits such as working hours, maternity/paternity leave arrangements, performance appraisal systems, dress code, access to facilities at work, bonus schemes and any other conditions of employment, do not discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their protected characteristics. Promotion is based solely on merit and includes women who are pregnant and those on maternity/paternity leave.
Furthermore, we are committed to offering the same high quality of service to all clients, regardless of their protected characteristics. Specifically, we do not make assumptions about clients with protected characteristics and will make reasonable adjustments in the delivery of services to those with visual, communication or mobility issues.
Counsel and experts are instructed solely on the basis of their skills, experience and ability. However, if a client request is specifically for a barrister with no protected characteristics without a valid reason, we will cease to act.
We are committed to dealing with any complaints of discrimination promptly, fairly, openly and effectively. If discrimination is found, formal disciplinary and remedial action will be taken, while complaints found to be made maliciously and without substance, will be treated as gross misconduct.