Rights and Obligations

Your rights as a barrister

Barristers are governed by the Bar Standards Board Handbook, which provides the rules and standards of conduct required to practise.

The Equality and Diversity Rules in the BSB Handbook set out the law and professional rules which prohibit discrimination and recommend good practice to chambers in relation to access to pupillages and tenancies, the conduct of work in chambers and complaints and grievances. They also include advice on preventing disability and age discrimination.

Maternity, paternity, adoptive parent and primary carer rights

The Government has consolidated a concise guide to your rights as a parent or carer  here. Rights for employed parents are the most prominent on this page, but by entering search terms such as "self-employed maternity", you can find further sources of information embedded within the site.

Tax information

You can find out more about tax and access to benefits here.

Although childcare vouchers are currently only available to employees and, therefore, employed barristers, the Government is considering extending this scheme to self-employed individuals. The Bar Council is lobbying the Government in support of this potential extension, which could considerably reduce the financial pressures on self-employed barrister parents returning to work. Any further developments will appear on this page.

Further Bar Council assistance for parents

Through Xexec, barristers paying the Bar Representation Fee can access a wide range of special offers on services including childcare, clothing and baby/child related products and pre-natal consultancy.

The Bar Council runs an annual workshop entitled "Managing your Career Break". Further information about this and other initiatives of the Equality & Diversity Committee can be found here, together with a helpful checklist of things to think about in relation to maternity/paternity/parental leave policies here.

The Bar Council is also considering how to improve nationwide access to regular and emergency childcare for barrister parents; opening nursery facilities specifically for barristers; and promoting family-friendly initiatives across barristers' chambers, employers and throughout the Bar Council. Further developments on these issues will appear on this page.