This Equality and Diversity Policy applies to clients, suppliers, employees, contractors, consultants, managers, former employees and job applicants of Menzies Law (“the firm”) and any other third parties we engage with.
It is the aim of the firm to have an exemplary approach to promoting equality and diversity and also to provide and promote equality regardless of:
- Sex or gender (including marital status, civil partnership and gender reassignment)
- Race (including therefore ethnicity, colour and nationality)
- Religion, religious or philosophical belief
- Sexual orientation
Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Code of Conduct
Our firm has a very clear and firm commitment to Principle 9 and to Chapter 2: Equality and Diversity of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Code of Conduct, which means:
- We do not unlawfully discriminate (or victimise or harass) against anyone in the course of our business.
- Our services are provided to our clients in ways that respect diversity.
- We make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled clients and employees are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with those who are not disabled when dealing with us. We do not pass on the costs of such adjustments to the said client or employee (see below under Reasonable Adjustments).
- Our approach to recruitment and employment encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity.
- We will deal with any complaints of discrimination promptly, fairly, openly and effectively.
All dealings with us will have fair treatment of all clients, suppliers, employees, contractors, consultants, managers, former employees and job applicants of the firm. Therefore the firm will make all decisions about recruitment, selection, promotion/progression, retention, pay and benefits, access to training and other employment decisions objectively without unlawful discrimination.
None of those groups of people outlined in the scope of this policy will be unlawfully discriminated against. Nor will they be victimised or harassed in the course of professional dealings with the firm. We will make all reasonable adjustments to prevent any person with those groups who is disabled from being at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to those who are not disabled.
The firm is committed to providing a working environment free of unlawful discrimination, victimisation and harassment. Because of this, breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action including dismissal.
The firm will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all employees, consultants and contractors are aware of this policy and that they comply with it. Clients, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and any other relevant third party as appropriate will also have access to the policy.
Finally, the firm’s Director is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy. All new employees will have the policy brought to their attention and appropriate training will be provided. We will annually review and amend the policy as necessary.
Our firm is a market leader in expertise in the field equality and diversity issues, advisory work as well as the provision of management training solutions.
We provide clients with equality and diversity training events of the highest quality. Due to this, we consider our advisory and training staff and associates to be some of the leading experts in this field in the region.
References in this policy to ‘reasonable adjustments’ means as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Please note that the cost to the firm of an adjustment is part of the consideration of whether an adjustment is reasonable. Clients should be aware that some adjustments may have a cost that might be reasonable for a larger law firm to bear but not for our own firm. Any client or potential client wishing to ask for a reasonable adjustment should please contact us early on to indicate their disability and what adjustment they may require. We will be as helpful and accommodating as we are able. If cost means that the adjustment is not viable as a reasonable adjustment we will discuss alternative funding options, other alternatives, and see if a viable solution can be found.
Flexible working enables our staff to find their own work life/balance. For our firm as a whole it promotes equality of opportunity, because it allows us to better attract and retain diverse talent and enhance business performance.
In addition, our firm has always taken a market-leading position in offering extensive flexible working to all. This includes members of staff, consultants, contractors and also associates. The vast majority of our staff currently work flexibly, often from home, therefore allowing the maximum possible work/life balance opportunities. Even full-time members of staff have elements of flexible working available to them, upon immediate request.
We follow our Procurement Protocol when entering into procurement contracts with our suppliers, to promote best practice in equality amongst them.
Dealing with issues arising
Any complaint of unlawful discrimination will be initially dealt with through the grievance procedure (for staff) or through our Complaints Handling Policy (for clients). If appropriate, we will then use our Disciplinary Procedure.
Our Equality and Diversity Action Plan (an internal document) deals with:
- Compliance with this Policy
- Reviews of this Policy
- Ensuring avoidance of unlawful discrimination at all times by the monitoring of, and also evidence/demonstrations of compliance with this Policy.
- Communication of this Policy to staff and clients
- Staff training on this Policy