Equality and diversity is not a discrete matter and cannot be dealt with as a tick box exercise. It is a living and breathing issue. It impacts every person at PDT, everyone we interact with, everything we do and how we do it. We understand that any meaningful commitments must be embedded in, and reflected by, our work and our culture – what we do and how we think.
As an example of this, PDT coordinated Sussex law firms to unite in a joint commitment that ‘Racism has no place in our society’. The law firms agreed to the following statement, with a joint social media and online push to publicise their commitment at 11am on Friday 12 June 2020: “We support the Law Society’s unequivocal commitment that Black Lives Matter. We as law firms operating in Sussex recognise the importance of challenging racism in all its forms in our organisations and communities. Whilst we strive to do this, we know that we can do more and believe the Law Society’s commitment and statement is the impetus for us all to do this now.”
Effecting change is difficult and effecting change in terms of racism can be particularly challenging. Real change starts with a series of sometimes personal and uncomfortable questions and challenges. We are asking ourselves: Do we recognise that a problem exists? What do we think causes it? Are we committed to taking action? What we are going to do about it and are we willing to do it? We are putting together further plans to ensure we are driving these changes and that matters of equality, diversity and inclusion are at the centre of everything we do.
We are planning a series of training events on equality and diversity, and related policy, with the objective that each employee will sign up to an acknowledgement that they respect and are committed to achieving the objectives of our equality policy.
PDT values fairness, equality and diversity in all dealings, both as a provider of legal services and an equal opportunities employer. We are committed to ensuring that our culture, training and policies facilitate and enhance the development and promotion of equal opportunities and that our equality and diversity values are embedded into everyday practice, policies and procedures.
PDT has adopted an equality and diversity policy which addresses the ‘protected characteristics’ of the Equality Act 2010: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation.
We are committed to avoiding discrimination on these grounds, and for part-time and fixed-term workers, in our dealings with clients and potential clients, other solicitors, barristers and third parties, and in relation to all current partners and employees, as well as applicants for positions within PDT and all related recruitment activity, along with internal promotions and training opportunities. The partners are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of our operations including client service.
In addition to our obligations not to discriminate against, harass or victimise those with a disability PDT is also subject to a duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent employees, partners and clients who are disabled from being at a disadvantage in comparison with those who are not.
For clients or other visitors with mobility problems, we have a ramp leading to the front door with toilet and other facilities located on the ground floor. A lift provides access to other parts of the building, where required.
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