The following communication was recently issued to Heads of Chambers:
The BSB has recently issued a
consultation paper about whether or not self-employed barristers should enjoy
similar rights to shared parental leave to employed barristers.
I am writing to seek your views, because as a Head of Chambers, you and your practice are likely to be affected by the issue of managing barristers who have to balance work and family responsibilities.
Since April 2015, many employees and their partners have been able to share parental leave between both parents in the first year of a child's life (or within one year of their adoption).
We have considered the regulatory issues associated with giving self-employed barristers a right to claim shared parental leave and believe there would be value in making the parental leave rules more flexible. We expect there to be a significant appetite within the profession for a rule change of this nature, as we have examined this issue at the request of the Bar Council.
Currently, there is no requirement for chambers to make shared parental leave arrangements for self-employed barristers. Shared parental leave could enable the self-employed Bar to retain female barristers and improve diversity within the profession. But we would like to know what you and the barristers who work in your practice think, please.
If the rule changes outlined in our consultation paper are adopted, it would require all chambers to include a provision in their parental leave policies for barristers to be able to take Shared Parental Leave.
To read the consultation paper and to let us know your thoughts, please visit our website. Please do share this email with the barristers in your practice.
The deadline for responding is 5pm, Friday 17 February 2017.
Thank you for your time and your consideration of this important topic.
Barrister, and BSB Board Member