The Law Society of NSW has released a guide to help NSW law firms and legal practices identify and eliminate discrimination and harassment in recruitment and employment practices in the workplace.
President of the NSW Law Society, Juliana Warner, said the Workplace Guide provides a series of checklists to guide legal practices through good decision-making and implementing good procedures.
It also contains the following Model Discrimination and Harassment Policies, which can be adapted by law firms and legal practices:
- Model Equal Opportunity Policy
- Model Anti-Harassment Policy
- Model Grievance Handling Procedure.
"This Guide and accompanying Model Policies are intended to identify practitioners' current legal obligations under anti-discrimination law and provide practical tools for NSW law firms and legal practices to identify and eliminate discrimination and harassment in recruitment and employment practices," Ms Warner said.
"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."
Ms Warner said this includes the Society's ground-breaking Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession Thought Leadership Project in 2011, the establishment of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Charter for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession and the development of the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession.
"Understanding and implementing anti-discrimination and harassment policies should see organisations reap a range of benefits, resulting in better business outcomes for the profession and the community.
"I applaud those organisations that are already active in this area and encourage all law firms and legal practices to introduce and implement workplace policies that support fairness and inclusivity.
"For those law firms and legal practices that don't have anti-harassment and discrimination policies in place, this guide provides model policies that they can modify to suit their own workplace.
"A fair workplace means that all participants are treated with respect and are not subjected to discrimination, harassment or victimisation," Ms Warner said.
Download the Workplace Guide and Model Discrimination and Harassment Policies here or on the Law Society's new Sexual Harassment in the Law portal.