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Equality & diversity NI

TLT's commitment to equality and diversity is just as deep in all three jurisdictions that we operate in - England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.   But we understand the specific legislation concerning Northern Ireland and we positively promote and maintain equality of opportunity for our workforce, clients and suppliers in our TLT Northern Ireland office.  

As a Registered Employer with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, we undertake ongoing monitoring of applicants and employees in line with the duties set out by the commission.  We regularly assess our recruitment processes to ensure that applicants and appointments are in line with the communities in which we exist.

TLT NI LLP is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures. TLT NI LLP is also committed to promoting equality and diversity in the firm. This applies to our professional dealings with clients, employees, partners, members, other solicitors, barristers, and third parties.

We shall treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Community background
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage & civil partnership
  • Political opinion
  • Pregnancy & maternity
  • Race & ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Legislation

We take all reasonable steps to ensure that we and our staff do not unlawfully discriminate under:

  • Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970
  • Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976
  • Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997
  • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003
  • Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006
  • any other relevant legislation in force from time to time relating to discrimination in employment and the provision of goods, facilities or services.

Meeting clients' needs

We treat all clients equally and fairly and not unlawfully discriminate against them. We also, wherever possible, take steps to promote equal opportunity in relation to access to the legal services that we provide, taking account of the diversity of the communities that we serve.

Identifying clients needs

We are committed to meeting the diverse needs of clients. We take steps to identify the needs of clients in our community and develop policies and procedures setting out how we will meet clients' needs and for ensuring the services we provide are accessible to all. We take into account, in particular, the needs of clients with a disability and clients for whom English is not their first language. We assume that all  groups are predominant within our client base and have appropriate policies to meet their needs: including men and women; carers; children; older people; members of religious groups; ethnic groups or nationalities; lesbian, gay or bisexual people, transgender people or disabled people.

Dealings with third parties

We will not unlawfully discriminate in dealings with third parties. This applies to dealings with other legal service providers and general procurement. We will consider the commitment of third party suppliers to issues of equality & diversity when procuring services.  We actively monitor our suppliers to ensure that they share our values in respect of equality, diversity & inclusion.

Dealings with barristers

We will instruct barristers on the basis of their skill, experience and ability and not unlawfully discriminate, or encourage barristers' clerks to unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of any of the protected characteristics referenced within this policy.


As an employer, we will treat all employees and job applicants equally and fairly and not unlawfully discriminate against them. This applies equally to voluntary positions and anyone undertaking work experience with us. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, demotions, selection for redundancies, dress code, references, bonus schemes, work allocation and any other employment related activities.

Recruitment and selection

We recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce and will take steps to ensure that:

  • we endeavour to recruit from the widest pool of qualified candidates practicable;
  • employment opportunities are open and accessible to all on the basis of their individual qualities and personal merit;
  • where appropriate, positive action measures are taken to attract applications from all sections of society and especially from those groups which are under represented in the workforce;
  • selection criteria and processes do not unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of any of the protected characteristics referenced within this policy; other than in those instances where the firm is exercising permitted positive action or a permitted exemption;
  • wherever appropriate and necessary, lawful exemptions (genuine occupational requirements) will be used to recruit suitable staff to meet the needs of particular groups; and
  • all recruitment agencies acting for the Firm are aware of requirements not to discriminate and to act accordingly.

Conditions of service

We treat all employees equally and create a working environment which is free from unlawful discrimination and which respects the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of employees. Terms and conditions of service for employees comply with anti-discrimination legislation. The provision of benefits such as flexible working hours, maternity and other leave arrangements, performance appraisal systems, dress code, bonus schemes and any other conditions of employment do not unlawfully discriminate against any employee on the grounds of any of the protected characteristics referenced within this policy.

Where appropriate and necessary, we endeavour to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service which take into account the specific needs of employees which arise from any of the protected characteristics referenced within this policy.

Promotion and career development

Promotion within the firm (including to partners, members and directors) will be made without reference to any of the forbidden grounds and will be based solely on merit. The selection criteria and processes for recruitment and promotion will be kept under review to ensure that there is no unjustifiably discriminatory impact on any particular group.

While positive action measures may be taken in accordance with relevant anti-discrimination legislation to encourage applications from under-represented groups, appointments to all jobs will be based solely on merit. All employees will have equal access to training and other career development opportunities appropriate to their experience and abilities. However, we will take appropriate positive action measures (as permitted by the anti-discrimination legislation) to provide special training and support for groups which are under-represented in the workforce and encourage them to take up training and career development opportunities.

Training plan

We will work towards providing equality & diversity training to all employees and Partners of TLT NI LLP which will refer to the relevant legislation and regulations.

We will provide regular complementary training to all employees and Partners of TLT NI LLP to build on the foundation training that is undertaken.

Where necessary, we will provide additional training to people who are required to use assistive technology.  Also, in agreement with any disabled employee or employee with a health condition we will provide appropriate awareness training to ensure that colleagues are aware of the impacts and barriers that could be presented.

Working with other organisations

All those who act on the firm's behalf will be informed of this equality and diversity policy and will be expected to pay due regard to it when conducting business on the firm's behalf. In all its dealings, including those with partners, any consortium members, suppliers, sub-contractors and recruitment agencies, the firm will seek to promote the principles of equality and diversity.

Implementing the policy 

Ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the firm. TLT LLP’s Equality & Diversity Officer helps to promote this policy and any other activities that are designed to uphold it when providing support to TLT NI LLP. All employees and partners, members and directors of the firm are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of this policy and are responsible for ensuring compliance with it when undertaking their jobs or representing the firm.

Acts of unlawful discrimination on any of the forbidden grounds by employees or, partners, members, and directors of the firm will result in disciplinary action. Failure to comply with this policy will be treated in a similar fashion. The policy applies to all who are employed in the firm and to all, partners, members and directors. This includes agency, casual and freelance staff.

Complaints of discrimination

We will treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination on any of the forbidden grounds made by employees, partners, members, directors, clients, barristers or other third parties and will take action where appropriate.

All complaints will be investigated in accordance with our grievance or complaints procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome. We will also monitor the number and outcome of complaints of discrimination made by staff, clients, partners, members, directors, barristers, and other third parties.


We monitor and record equality & diversity information about staff, partners, members and directors on the basis of age, gender, community background, ethnicity, and disability.

Where it is possible to do so, and where doing so will not cause offence or discomfort to those whom it is intended to protect, we will monitor the caring responsibilities, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation, and social mobility of staff, partners, members and directors so as to ensure that they are not being discriminated against in terms of the opportunities or benefits available to them. We are aware that individuals may choose not to provide responses to certain areas that we monitor and care is taken to avoid inadvertent discrimination in such cases.

We store equality & diversity data as confidential personal data and restrict access to this information. Equality & diversity information is used for exclusively for the purposes of diversity monitoring and has no bearing on opportunities or benefits.

To comply with our duties as a Registered Employer with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, we monitor community background and gender for all employees and Partners of TLT NI LLP in line with the requirement to submit  annual fair employment reviews to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. We will meet the timescales set by the Commission.  As encouraged by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, where a person declines to provide this information, we will use the prescribed residuary method to make a

We monitor all elements of:
  • recruitment and selection process (applicants and existing staff and , partners, members and directors);
  • promotion and transfer;
  • training (all training opportunities not restricted to equality and diversity training);
  • terms and conditions of employment;
  • take up of benefits (work life balance policies e.g. flexible working requests)
  • grievance and disciplinary procedures; and
  • resignations, redundancies, and dismissals.


We will review the operation of this policy not less than once a year (or more regularly if we identify any non-compliance or problem concerning equality and diversity issues with clients or personnel). We will take remedial action if we discover non-compliance under this policy or barriers to equal opportunities. When reviewing the policy we will consider the outcome of monitoring and review actions under our communications and training plans.