Bar parental leave policy to challenge old stereotypes

26 May 2017

"A culture shift is taking place at the Bar" Chair of the Bar Andrew Langdon QC has said in response to new rules that will enable self-employed barristers to benefit from equal parental leave entitlements provided by chambers, regardless of how their partners use theirs.

Responding to the announcement from the Bar's regulator, the Bar Standards Board (BSB), he said:

"This is a watershed moment which challenges the assumption that one parent should have to take more time out of their career, and take on more caring responsibilities, than the other.

"The Bar Council has been lobbying for rule changes since the introduction of Shared Parental Leave in 2015 because we want parents to have a more equal role and because we want to see more equal numbers of men and women at the Bar.

"We know that women who leave the Bar for extended periods of time, such as for maternity, find it hard to come back. This move will help to place both parents on a more equal footing."

Bar Council Head of Policy for Equality and Diversity Sam Mercer said:

"The Bar is serious about supporting parents in the profession. This is an important moment in the journey towards a more equal profession and society.

"The Bar Council will provide full support to chambers to ensure this change is managed effectively. New guidance will be issued shortly."


Notes to Editors 

  1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and

  2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board