Policies and Procedures

Equality & Diversity Policy

  1. NR Legal Solicitors will deal with all persons with the same consideration regardless of race, religion, ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or age in relation to:
    1. Recruitment and employment of personnel;
    2. Promotion of Managers and staff;
    3. The provision of services and acceptance of instructions;
    4. Use of outside Experts and counsel.
    5. Instructions from clients which would fall outside these parameters are not accepted.
  2. Equal Opportunities
    1. NR Legal Solicitors is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, provision of services and the appointment of any external supplier. This means that all clients, suppliers, job applicants and employees will receive equal treatment, regardless of race, religion, ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or age.
    2. We will appoint, train, develop and promote on the basis of merit and ability alone
    3. Employees must not harass or intimidate other employees on the grounds of race, sex, disability, age, religion, belief or sexual orientation. Such behaviour may be treated as gross misconduct in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.
    4. Employees should draw to the attention of their immediate superior any suspected discriminatory acts or practices.
    5. Employees must not victimise, harass or bully any employee who has made allegations or complaints of sex or racial discrimination, discrimination on the grounds of disability, age, religion or sexual orientation. Such behaviour may be treated as gross misconduct in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.
      1. Sexual harassment may include:
        • Unwelcome advances;
        • Requests for sexual favours;
        • Physical conduct of a sexual nature;
        • Jokes, banter and remarks that are sexual in nature;
        • Displaying inappropriate material, eg calendars containing naked or partially naked women or men;
        • Inappropriate use of electronic communication, eg sending sexually explicit emails or attachments or displaying sexually explicit material on computer screens;
        • Leering at someone in a sexual way
      2. Sex-based harassment may include:
        • Demeaning jokes or remarks about women (or men), whether or not they are targeted at a particular individual;
        • Playing pranks on a woman where she is the only female in a predominantly male environment (similarly, unwelcome pranks played on a man working in a predominantly female environment);
        • Deliberately placing items on high shelves out of the reach of a person.

      The behaviour does not need to be specifically targeted at an individual in order for him or her to be offended, or raise a complaint. A general culture that permits the telling of sexist jokes or sexual banter or teasing may create an uncomfortable working environment for women or men in particular and thus give rise to claims for sexual or sex based harassment.

    6. Legislation: it is unlawful to discriminate against individuals, either directly or indirectly, in respect of race, sex, disability, age, religion or belief. The Race Relations Act 1976, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Employment Act 2000, the Industrial Tribunals Act 1996, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, the European Employment Directive 2000/78/EC and the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 are relevant Acts.
    7. Codes of Practice relating to sex and race discrimination have been produced by the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality, these, together with The Law Society’s codes, rules and policy statements, have been used as a basis for this policy. The following are the kinds of discrimination, which are against the Group’s policy:
      1. Direct discrimination, where a person is less favourably treated because of sex, race, belief, age or disability. Example:
        • If someone is refused promotion on the grounds that he or she is black or disabled.
      2. Indirect discrimination, where a requirement or condition which cannot be justified is applied equally to all groups but has a disproportionate adverse effect on one particular group. Examples:
        • Where an age limit for new recruits may exclude many women of that age group because they are unable to apply for the job as a result of family commitments;
        • The restriction of recruitment to areas where there are few ethnic minorities;
        • A requirement which is non-essential to the job description which may exclude a disabled person (such as the requirement for a driving licence for a job which is mainly office based).
      3. Victimisation, where someone is treated less favourably because he or she has taken action against NR Legal Solicitors under one of the relevant Acts.
      4. Harassment: when unwanted conduct related to any of the grounds referred to above takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment may involve physical acts or verbal and non-verbal acts, communications and gestures.
      5. Less favourable treatment as used in relation to disability discrimination when a person with a disability is treated in a detrimental way in circumstances when a person without that disability would not be so treated.
      6. Failure to consider making reasonable adjustments in relation to disability discrimination.
  3. Positive Action by the Group
    1. Job Advertisements
      1. All job advertisements, wherever and however placed, on behalf of NR Legal Solicitors will include the following statement or to its effect: ‘NR Legal Solicitors welcomes applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of race, sex, age or disability’.
    2. Recruitment
      1. NR Legal Solicitors will take steps to ensure that applications are attracted from both sexes, all races and from disabled people. NR Legal Solicitors will ensure that there are equal opportunities in all stages of the recruitment process. Any publicity relating to NR Legal Solicitors and employment will make reference to the Equality & Diversity Policy.
      2. All job applications will be processed in the same way.
      3. The staff responsible for short listing, interviewing and selecting candidates will be clearly informed of the selection criteria and of the need for there consistent application.
      4. Wherever possible all applicants will be interviewed by at least two people. We will make use of assessment days interviewing in group sessions.
      5. All questions that are put to the applicants will relate solely to the requirements of the job.
      6. If it is necessary to assess whether personal circumstances will affect the performance of the job, this will be discussed objectively, without detailed questions based on assumptions about race, sex, religion, nationality, origin, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, age, children and domestic obligations.
      7. All persons responsible for selecting new employees, employees for training or for transfer to other jobs, will be instructed not to discriminate on gender or racial grounds or grounds of the employee’s disability, sexual orientation, age or belief.
      8. Where general ability and personal qualities are the main requirements for the promotion to a post, care will be taken to consider favourable candidates of all races, both sexes and all classes of disability, with different career patterns and general experience.
      9. NR Legal Solicitors will take action when a Manager, employee or client complains that he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment. Those complaining will be protected against victimisation or retaliation for bringing the complaint. Disciplinary measures will be taken against employees found guilty of sexual harassment. If the level of sexual harassment is sufficiently serious, it will amount to gross misconduct and dismissal will follow. A formal complaint about sexual harassment should be pursued through the process set out in the Grievance Procedure.
  4. Selection of Outside Experts and Counsel
    1. Fee Earners will use their own professional skill and judgement, based on their previous experience and that of colleagues, in the selection of an appropriate Expert or counsel based on expertise, experience, recommendation and suitability for ability to do the work in question and using internal Experts or those on NR Legal Solicitors Expert Database.
    2. The Experts Database will be compiled on the basis of an expert’s ability to undertake the work of a particular type. The Principal or anyone appointed by him will be responsible for maintenance of the database.
    3. Fee Earners should consider clients requests, for particular experts and counsel and take account that many clients now have preferred suppliers and particular arrangements in place.
  5. Review
    1. This policy will be monitored periodically by NR Legal Solicitors to review its effectiveness. The HR in conjunction with the Principal, will be responsible for the operation of the policy.