This policy applies to those who work and engage with us. In view of the different natures of the contractual relationships we have, by necessity, different approaches may be taken to parental and extended leave. However, our overall approach will be one of transparency and fairness.
We recognise that our barristers and pupils are self-employed or entities in their own right and may wish to take extended leave for a variety of reasons.
Circumstances may mean that it may be more appropriate for an employee to make a request under the flexible working policy which gives them rights afforded by law.
Extended leave includes but is not limited to parental leave and shared parental leave.
The BSB has issued equality & diversity guidance in relation to parental leave (including shared parental leave). Clerksroom’s extended leave policy takes into account the BSB’s parental leave guidance.
“Parental leave” refers to leave taken by the main carer of a child following birth or adoption. This could be the mother, father or adoptive parent of either sex.
The aim of this policy is to:
You have the right to take extended leave for any reason, including parental leave, for any period up to 12 months.
Your right is not limited to one period of time. Parental leave may be taken flexibly and allows the member of Clerksroom to maintain their practice while on parental leave, including the ability to carry out fee-earning work while on parental leave without giving up other parental leave rights.
You do not have the automatic right to take extended leave for any period where the total leave taken exceeds 12 months, but we may, in our reasonable discretion, nonetheless agree to a period of extended leave of more than 12 months depending on the particular circumstances.
The right to take extended leave includes the right to restrict your practice, for example, to paperwork only.
You are under no duty to inform us of the reason you wish to take extended leave, save that if you wish to take a period of extended leave exceeding 12 months, we are entitled, before agreeing to your request, to seek an explanation why you wish to take an extended leave of more than 12 months.
You have the right to return to Chambers following the period of extended leave on the same terms as before subject:
On your return from leave, you are entitled to work reduced hours and Clerksroom will work with you to facilitate this.
Upon receiving your request for a period of extended leave we will agree to any reasonable request for a period of extended leave on the terms proposed, subject to the payment of any disbursements that we may reasonably require.
During the period of extended leave, we will:
The nature of our agreement with barristers and pupils as set out in your agreement and Clerksroom Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policy means that we do not have to do make specific arrangements with you in relation to “rent” as understood in the traditional sense of chambers. Therefore, during the period of extended leave, we will make no charges save in relation to:
If you wish to take extended leave, you are required to do the following, wherever reasonably practicable prior to the commencement of the period of extended leave:
request extended leave, wherever possible by email, giving as much notice to us as is reasonably practicable;
During the period of extended leave, you are required to:
Any member who wishes to make a complaint regarding a breach of this policy should in the first instance contact Clerksroom Equality and Diversity Officer. A formal complaint can be made under Clerksroom Grievance Policy.
A copy of this policy is provided to all those who work and engage with Clerksroom and is available both on our website and the online Clerksroom Operating Manual located within myclerksroom.