15 September 2019

BSB seeks views on removing the restriction on reporting sexual orientation and religion and belief data

 Following a request from the Bar Council, wwe are seeking views on whether to remove certain restrictions on the reporting by the Bar of sexual orientation and religion and belief data.

The current rule in our Handbook states that every member of a chambers or a BSB regulated entity's workforce must consent before such aggregated and anonymised data can be published. In our consultation we are asking whether this remains appropriate and whether such disclosure should be treated in the same way as other diversity characteristics, where the only requirement is not to publish where there is a risk of any individuals affected being identified from the data. Under no circumstances would any member of a chambers or an entity be obliged to disclose their diversity monitoring data to a chambers or entity.

The rule change would require chambers and entities to amend their diversity data policies. The consultation paper considers the potential benefits and disbenefits of the proposed change for individual barristers and for the Bar as a whole. Please respond to this consultation before 5 July.