Wellbeing in chambers

We know that work can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing. We are also mindful that working in a barristers’ chambers, in particular, can be challenging, invigorating and exciting – but also sometimes tiring and stressful. That’s why we want to ensure we properly support the health and wellbeing of all of our staff, barristers and pupils.

It’s also important to note that healthy, well-motivated barristers and staff can have a positive impact on the effectiveness and success of what we do on behalf of all of our clients. We owe it them to be the best we can be.

Our wellbeing officers

Our wellbeing officers are Dawn Pritchard and Carl Fender.

What does wellbeing entail?

Responsibility for work-related health and wellbeing belongs to everyone here at Bank House Chambers. Whether or not people feel positively or negatively towards their work, their working environment, their colleagues and their clients includes factors such as:

  • the relationships between staff and barristers
  • whether staff and barristers feel involved in organisational issues and decisions
  • whether people are earning enough to meet more than just their basic needs
  • the availability and acceptability of flexible working practices
  • the awareness of occupational health/mental health issues and whether they’re taken seriously.

As part of our commitment to supporting everyone’s well-being, we offer:

  • support and guidance from more senior members for all pupils and junior tenants
  • enhanced awareness of equality and diversity, including disability and mental-health issues
  • professional development for barristers relevant to their area of work
  • awareness of the signs of stress in ourselves and in others
  • personalised action plans to help ensure we offer the most effective solution for each individual.

Work/life balance

Because our barristers are self-employed, it would be easy to assume that they have control over their work/life balance. However, being self-employed can add pressures that employees don’t have. The desire to maintain a busy practice, and to keep clerks and solicitors happy, can result in taking on too much work. This can seriously upset work/life balance and may lead to stress.

Pupils and barristers displaying more than occasional symptoms of stress, which lead to concern from colleagues or senior staff, will be invited to have a chat with a wellbeing officer, their pupil supervisors, or their head of team.

Mental wellbeing

Mental ill-health and stress are associated with many of the leading causes of disease and disability in our society. Promoting and protecting the mental wellbeing of people in chambers is important for individuals’ physical health, social wellbeing and productivity. That’s why we all share responsibility for our own and others’ wellbeing at work.

Important aspects of mental health and wellbeing include information and awareness-raising; having the skills to effectively manage mental health and stress; providing a supportive work environment; and offering assistance, advice and support to anyone experiencing a problem.

Responsibility for work-related health and wellbeing belongs to everyone here at Bank House Chambers