The Law Society of New South Wales (NSW) has released a guide to assist NSW law firms to identify and eliminate discrimination and harassment, both in employment practices in the workplace and during the recruitment process. The guide includes a checklist-style approach to decision-making and implementation procedure. Helping firms to ensure they are meeting best practice standards, as well as model discrimination and harassment policies, which firms can adopt, including:
- Model Equal Opportunity Policy
- Model Anti-Harassment Policy
- Model Grievance Handling Procedure.
President of the NSW Law Society, Juliana Warner said: “This Guide and accompanying Model Policies are intended to identify practitioners’ current legal obligations under antidiscrimination law and provide practical tools for NSW law firms and legal practices to identify and eliminate discrimination and harassment in recruitment and employment practices. It forms part of the Law Society’s ongoing work to assist law firms and legal practices create more diverse and inclusive legal workplaces where everyone feels safe, secure and supported. Since the Law Society first developed an Equal Opportunity Policy in 1996, we have demonstrated a firm and ongoing commitment to the principles and practice of fairness of opportunity and diversity in the legal profession.”
Read more about the guide here.
The Law Society of New South Wales (NSW) has launched a new portal focusing on the issue of sexual harassment in the legal workplace. The portal is aimed to provide assistance and guidance to those who have experienced sexual harassment, as well as providing steps that solicitors can take if they have witnessed sexual harassment, discrimination or victimisation.
The Sexual Harassment in the Law portal gives access to resources including:
- information on the steps to take for those who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment, discrimination or victimisation in order to report it
- resources to address and prevent sexual harassment in the profession
- important information on new Law Society of NSW training designed to combat harassment
- Workplace Guide and Model Discrimination and Harassment Policies
- The Charter for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession
- The Law Society’s Mental Health and Wellbeing portal
- legislation and rules which are relevant to sexual harassment in the legal profession.
President of the Law Society of NSW, Juliana Warner has said “I feel very strongly about keeping the spotlight on this issue and continuing to find ways to create more open workplaces, backed by the appropriate policies, reporting processes and support, and ultimately empower victims to speak out without fear of negative repercussions,” Ms Warner said. Everyone has the right to feel safe and supported in their workplace. As an association that represents 43% of Australia’s solicitors, we have a responsibility to be part of the solution and ensure that victims can speak out against unacceptable behaviour in the knowledge that it will have severe consequences for the perpetrator, and not them.”
View the portal here, or read more about the portal here.