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Parental Leave Policy Guidance

Purpose: Guide to developing parental leave policies and good practice on parental leave for chambers (including new Shared Parental Leave Provisions)
Scope of application: All barristers and chambers
Issued by: The Bar Council
First reviewed: 01/01/2015
Last reviewed: 02/02/2018
Status and effect: Please see the notice at end of this page. This is not "guidance" for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4.

Maintaining your career and having a family can be a huge challenge, particularly for women, at the Self-Employed Bar. Extended periods without earning can very quickly make it difficult to remain in practice. Often barristers are able to live off deferred income (aged debt) whilst on parental leave and struggle most on their return whilst rebuilding their practice, waiting for payment for work done and paying child care costs.

As a result the Bar loses many talented barristers when they choose to have a family. It is important that members of the Bar and Chambers do all they can to support those who wish to have a family. New shared parental leave provisions are designed to assist. Chambers need to have incorporated new BSB rules into their Parental Leave Policies by October 2018. This guide is designed to support them in doing so and includes ideas for avoiding potential misuse of any new policy.


Download: Bar Council Parental Leave Guidance:

Download ( PDF )


Important Notice

This document has been prepared by the Bar Council to assist barristers on matters of professional conduct and ethics. It is not “guidance” for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4, and neither the BSB nor a disciplinary tribunal nor the Legal Ombudsman is bound by any views or advice expressed in it. It does not comprise – and cannot be relied on as giving – legal advice. It has been prepared in good faith, but neither the Bar Council nor any of the individuals responsible for or involved in its preparation accept any responsibility or liability for anything done in reliance on it. For fuller information as to the status and effect of this document, please see here.

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