Equality, Diversity & Anti-Discrimination Policy
At Pointon & Co Solicitors Limited, we are committed to and wish to encourage the Equality of Opportunity, respect for Diversity and to eliminate discrimination where possible, in the various Firm’s policies, procedures and professional dealings with others.
“Discrimination” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as:
The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
The Equality Act 2010 provides that it is unlawful to treat somebody less favourably than others as a result of a Protected Characteristic. The Protected Characteristics covered by the Act are: Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex and Sexual Orientation.
In developing this Policy and commitment to others, we shall have regards to (but not limited to) the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority Code of Conduct 2011, The Equality Act 2010, guidance issued by The Law Society, The Solicitors Regulation Authority and The Equality and Human Rights Commission, along with any future legislation / guidance to be issued.
Pointon & Co Solicitors Limited is a committed signatory to the Law Society’s Diversity Inclusion Charter. The Charter is a public commitment by its providers of legal services, regardless of size, to develop and implement best practice in equality, diversity and inclusion, as employers, providers of legal services, purchasers of goods and services and also in the wider community. As a signatory to this Charter, we will be working closely with The Law Society in its effort to encourage and promote equality, diversity and anti-discrimination.
There is no intention to take on any new staff members at present, however should this position change, we will ensure that the advertising, interview and recruitment selection process is fair, irrespective of a person’s age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, religion, etc.
The Equality, Diversity & Anti-Discrimination Policy will be reviewed annually as a matter of course and amended where necessary. Alongside this, issues of Equality, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination will be continuously reviewed as part of the Firm’s ongoing obligation to keep abreast of legislative developments and changes – any material changes to this Policy will be made as and when required as a consequence of this ongoing monitoring.
Clients and Third Parties
As a service provider, Pointon & Co is against any unlawful and negative discrimination towards existing or potential clients. This Firm intends to treat everybody with equal courtesy and respect regardless of their age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, nationality or religious beliefs. Every client is important to this Firm.
The same courtesy and respect will be extended as a matter of course to any third parties that the Firm deals with – to include but not limited to other solicitors / Firms, barristers, medical and other experts, suppliers, etc.
Any third party instructed shall be so on the basis of their skills, expertise and ability to deal with the issues under review.
Where permitted by legislation, the Firm will endeavour to take steps to meet the needs and requests of particular clients / third parties, arising from their ethnic or cultural background, gender, disability, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
The Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty upon service providers to make “reasonable adjustments” for disabled persons so as not to place them at disadvantage when compared to persons who are not disabled when receiving the same service.
“Reasonable” is dependent upon the size of the Firm, along with the resources and ability of the practice to manage the adjustment.
We will endeavour to provide the same quality of service to all, irrespective of whether the client/ potential client/ third party concerned has a disability or not. The cost of any reasonable adjustment made will NOT be passed on to the client/ potential client / third party.
This may involve the use of third parties on occasions. Authorisation will always be sought before passing any details on to a third party for this purpose. The duty of confidentiality shall be strictly adhered to during this and related communications.
We are able to provide upon request, audio, large print and Braille versions of any advice, policy, correspondence, etc. No charges will be made for this or for home visits as a result of any disability or otherwise.
Non-English Speaking Clients / Potential Clients / Third Parties
For those who do not speak/ understand English, we shall endeavour to communicate to clients / potential clients and third parties via the use of a translator, whether in relation to spoken or written communications or both.
We shall use only those translators who have been approved/accredited by the Police / Law Society/ SRA.
We also shortly intend to add further tabs to this website, in order to provide the very basic information in a variety of languages – Romanian, Polish, Hindu, Punjabi and Bengali. This is currently in progress and should feature on the website some time in 2014.
Refusal to Act
We may refuse to act on your behalf in several instances – for example, if it is felt that your claim poses little prospects of success, if your claim requires expertise / skills that Pointon & Co cannot offer, etc.
Refusal to act however will NOT be based upon any of the Protected Characteristics referred to above.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all clients. If you believe that you have been discriminated against for whatever reason, please tell us about it. This will help us to improve standards in the future.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, please contact Karen Pointon to discuss this further, on the contact details shown below.
- By telephoning 01782 560706
- By faxing 01782 560583
- By emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- By writing to Mrs. Karen Pointon, Pointon & Co. Solicitors Limited, 5 Longclough Road, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs, ST5 7SW
This Firm operates a stringent Complaints procedure – this can be found on the Website under the “Policies and Procedures” section, alternatively please contact us and ask that a copy be made available to you.
All complaints will be taken seriously and will be dealt with promptly, fairly, openly and effectively.