22 September 2019

New rules to remove restrictions on reporting barristers’ sexual orientation, religion and belief data

This month, in the 4.2 version of the BSB Handbook (link), we published new rules that remove restrictions on the reporting by the profession of sexual orientation, religion and belief data.

Until now, the BSB Handbook stated that every member of a chambers', or a BSB regulated entity's, workforce must give their consent before aggregated and anonymised data on sexual orientation, religion and belief can be published. The removal of this restriction will see these data treated in the same way as other diversity characteristics. This includes a requirement not to publish if there is a risk of any individuals being identified from the data. Under no circumstances would any member of a chambers' or an entity's workforce be obliged to disclose their diversity characteristics if they do not wish to do so.

We hope that this will help to demonstrate the diversity that exists at the Bar and lead to a stronger evidence base for future diversity initiatives.