The aim of this policy is to ensure that Clerksroom is able to support disabled clients, its workforce and others including temporary visitors whether their disability is visible or hidden.
Clerksroom is committed to making reasonable adjustments in order to remove or reduce substantial disadvantage for disabled people working or engaging with us or receiving legal services. This policy covers all employees of Clerksroom, barristers, clerks, pupils, mini-pupils, clients and prospective clients and visitors to Clerksroom.
For the purposes of this policy the definition of disability follows that set out in the Equality Act 2010 section 6. A person is therefore disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. “Substantial” means more than minor or trivial and “long-term” means 12 months or more.
This policy does not provide an exhaustive list of the reasonable adjustments that Clerksroom will make for staff, barristers, pupils or visitors. However, the following types of adjustments that may be made are listed below:
Clerksroom has carried out accessibility self-audits and publishes relevant information on its website about the accessibility of our premises. As well as being openly available on our website, this information is provided to all of those who work and engage with us, within recruitment literature and to clients and other visitors to our premises ahead of any arranged visit.
Staff or barristers with specific requirements should make requests to Clerksroom Equality and Diversity Officer for reasonable adjustment decisions. All requests for reasonable adjustments will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Where it is not possible to make the adjustment requested Clerksroom will discuss viable alternatives with the applicant. Where appropriate, we will consider whether an application should be made for a grant under the Access to Work Scheme. This is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. Support is available for both employed and self-employed individuals and Clerksroom will help and support applications where possible. More detail is available here: Access to Work Scheme.
The Equality and Diversity Officer is responsible for considering whether or not disabled staff, barristers or pupils require assistance during an emergency evacuation and if so whether or not a personal emergency evacuation plan is required for the individual(s) concerned. If so, the plan will be developed in partnership with the individual concerned in order to ensure that adjustments to the emergency evacuation procedure may be made.
The individual receiving the visitor is responsible for considering reasonable adjustment requests for their visitors. They are also responsible for anticipating any likely reasonable adjustments that will need to be made for visitors whom they know to be disabled and are likely to require assistance.
However, we will never make an assumption that a disabled person requires any reasonable adjustments as this would be inappropriate; we will always ask. Visitor requests for specific reasonable adjustments may be made by contacting the Equality and Diversity Officer.
In no circumstances will Clerksroom pass on the cost of a reasonable adjustment to a disabled person.
In order to ensure transparency and fairness as part of the recruitment process, Clerksroom publishes the outline of its mark scheme for candidates which allows for candidates to show their skills/background in less traditional ways. We also use contextual recruitment which allows for experiences and qualifications to be put into the context someone was in when they gained them. We also allow applicants who can demonstrate relevant experience in less traditional ways to gain points for this.
In addition, wherever we can subject to confidentiality, we provide real-life examples highlighting how our existing team demonstrates our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
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.