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Equal Opportunities Policy

This firm has a policy of equal opportunity for all its Members, staff and clients and those we instruct.  Mark French is responsible for Equality and Diversity in the firm. That is an easy thing to proclaim as a policy, but it does require a commitment by everyone to ensure that it is carried out in practice.

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that we and our staff do not unlawfully discriminate under the terms of the Contracts we hold and any legislation in force from time to time relating to discrimination in employment and the provision of goods, facilities and services.

No Member, employee, applicant for employment or client nor any person from whom the firm engages services should be discriminated against, harassed, victimised or disadvantaged on the grounds of:-
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
As an employer, we will treat all employees and job applicants equally and fairly and not unlawfully discriminate against them. This applies equally to anyone undertaking work experience with us. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, demotions, selection for redundancies, dress code, references, bonus schemes, work allocation and any other employment related activities.

Any action in breach of this policy will be treated seriously and subject to disciplinary procedure and in serious cases, may constitute gross misconduct.

If any employee believes they or others have been treated inconsistently with this policy then they should speak to their line manager or Head of Department.

The firm will monitor and record equal opportunities information about all staff on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity and disability on an annual basis.



Edward Hayes regards harassment of any kind as unacceptable and it can result in disciplinary action.  This firm will provide and sustain safe working environments in which everyone is treated fairly and with respect.  Everyone within this firm must always consider whether their actions could be inappropriate or offensive to others.

Everyone within this firm carries a personal responsibility for their own behaviour and for ensuring that their conduct is in accordance with the principals set out within this manual.  In addition, each person has a responsibility to report any instance of bullying or harassment which they witness or which comes to their attention.  Everyone has a responsibility to act as role models, pro-actively addressing instances of bullying and harassment.


Harassment occurs where a person is subjected to unwanted conduct which has the purpose (intentionally) or effect (unintentionally) of violating that person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. Harassment may be an isolated occurrence or repetitive; it may occur against one or more individuals.   Where no intent can be established, the unwanted conduct will be regarded as harassment if that could be regarded as a reasonable conclusion when taking all the circumstances into account, including in particular, the perception of the person who has complained of being harassed.


Examples of harassment may be (but are not limited to):-
  • Physical contact – ranging from touching to serious assault, gestures, intimidation, aggressive behaviour;
  • Verbal – unwelcome remarks, suggestions and propositions, malicious gossip, jokes and banter, offensive language;
  • Non-verbal – offensive literature or pictures, graffiti and computer imagery, isolation or non-co-operation and exclusion or isolation from social activities.
Bullying is unlikely to be a single or isolated instance (but may be).  It is usually, but not exclusively repeated and persistent behaviour which is offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting.

Examples of bullying may be (but are not limited) to:-
  • Conduct which is intimidating, physically abusive or threatening;
  • Conduct that denigrates, ridicules or humiliates and individual, especially in front of colleagues;
  • Picking on one person when there is a common problem;
  • Shouting at an individual;
  • Consistently undermining someone and their ability to undertake their job;
  • Setting unrealistic targets and/or deadlines and/or excessive workloads; and
  • Bullying via email/internet.



This firm accepts that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity.  Sexual harassment will not be permitted or condoned and Members, employees and clients all have the right to complain should it ever occur.

Sexual harassment means unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex, affecting the dignity of men and women at work.  Sexual harassment can include:
  • Unwelcome sexual attention;
  • Subjecting a Member, employee or client to insults or ridicule because of their sex;
  • Suggesting that sexual favours may further someone's career or that the refusal of sexual favours may in some way damage their career;
  • Over-familiar behaviour including lewd and suggestive remarks; and
  • Display of sexual suggestive pictures.


What is sexual harassment to one person may not amount to sexual harassment to another.  If it is unwanted by the recipient then it may amount to sexual harassment.  It is up to each individual to decide what behaviour is acceptable to them and to decide what is offensive.  If an individual decides that the behaviour is offensive they must make it clear that they do not accept it. If the behaviour continues then it becomes sexual harassment.  A serious incident or harassment may, in itself, constitute sexual harassment.


This firm will treat any conduct of bullying/harassment seriously.  Those complaining will be protected against any form of victimisation or retaliation after bringing the complaint.  The disciplinary procedure set out in the Office Manual will be used and serious bullying/harassment may amount to gross misconduct and could lead then to dismissal.


A formal complaint of bullying/harassment is a serious step to take.  Any person who has been bullied/harassed should, therefore, wherever possible, try and tell the person that their behaviour is unacceptable and only formally complain when the behaviour persists.


A formal complaint of bullying/harassment should be pursued through the process set out in the grievance procedure in this manual.

Contact Us

Tel: 01903 288850
Tel: 01243 781431
Tel:  01243 672124
Emergency: 07712 815169
Fax: 020 7427 7391

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