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Maternity and Parental Leave Guidance

Purpose: Guide to developing maternity and parental leave policies and good practice on parental leave.
Scope of application: All barristers and chambers
Issued by: The Bar Council
First reviewed: 01/01/2015
Last reviewed: 12/01/2023
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.

The Bar Standards Board has set out minimum standards and requirements in relation to Maternity and Parental Leave (including Shared Parental Leave) in its equality rules. This guide aims to encourage chambers to adopt good and better practice wherever possible instead of the bare minimum.

This guide explains what a model Maternity and Parental Leave Policy (MPLP) should look like, the key issues it should cover, the rationale for positively engaging with Maternity and Parental Leave / Shared Parental Leave and outlines strategies to avoid misuse.

A basic MPLP appears at Appendix 1 and chambers are encouraged to tailor this document to meet their needs after considering this guide.

Download: Bar Council Maternity and Parental Leave Guide-2023:

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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