25 September 2018

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

At the request of the Bar Council, we are seeking views on whether to remove certain restrictions on the reporting by the profession of sexual orientation and religion and belief data.

The current rule in the BSB Handbook states 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 and religion and belief can be published. The consultation asks whether this is still appropriate and whether they 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 consultation paper considers the potential benefits, disbenefits and the implementation challenges of the proposed change for individual barristers and for the Bar as a whole.

The rule change would require chambers and entities to amend their diversity data policies. The closing date for this consultation is 5 July 2018.