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New Park Court

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, increasing awareness of wellbeing, developing resilience training schemes and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.

New Park Court recognises concerns around physical and mental health and has provided support to members and staff for some time. With growing recognition of the importance of wellbeing, Chambers has now taken the opportunity to formalise (i) a wellbeing strategy; (ii) a policy; and (iii) the support available to members and staff.

 

What was the business (other case) for action?

New Park Court aims to establish a positive health and wellbeing culture for all members and employees. This includes increasing awareness of wellbeing, having effective processes in place and encouraging positive behaviour by all members of Chambers and employees.

New Park Court wants awareness and support for wellbeing to be part of its DNA. The stated aim of its Wellbeing strategy is to create an environment where a member of chambers or staff colleagues can ‘…flourish and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves and the organisation.’

In developing its programme of work, Park Court recognised the business benefits of being a ‘good’ employer, of catching issues early and supporting any necessary treatment. All of which help establish a positive working environment and trust.

What did the Chambers do?

Wellbeing Strategy

New Park Court has created a 6-year wellbeing strategy with SMART objectives and outputs.

As part of this strategy they have created a framework against which they evaluate progress. The Framework considers the following key areas:

  1. Organisational Culture and Governance
  2. Civility and Respect
  3. Policies and Compliance Plus
  4. Health
  5. Physical Safety
  6. Facilities
  7. Psychological competencies, protection and support
  8. Professional Growth and Development
  9. Involvement, Engagement and Influence
  10. Member Services

Against each of these, New Park Court reviews actions over the previous 3 years and has an action plan going forward.

Examples of actions already implemented include:

Establishing a wellbeing committee; Attending wellbeing events/training; negotiating corporate rates for e.g. Yoga; moving staff from a basement area to the first floor/natural light; introduction of guidelines for workloads; funding appropriate therapy when required; guaranteeing living wage earnings for pupils; structured personal practice development meetings for members; a chambers ski-trip; members and staff social events

Examples of actions planned include:

Encouraging staff/members to take regular breaks and promotion of work/life balance; encouraging cycling (a new bike rack), ‘free’ fruit for members and staff; creating a social area for barristers in Leeds; workload management for staff; introduction of personal development plans for staff; training on resilience and balance; negotiating gym/club discounts

Policy

New Park Court introduced a policy in November 2017 which is regularly updated with the most recent version updated 3 months ago. This policy provides a framework to encourage and facilitate working practices that support health and wellbeing.

It clearly states it is Chambers’ policy to:

  • Promote health and wellbeing
  • Prevent (as far as possible) circumstances detrimental to wellbeing
  • Provide a culture where health and wellbeing can be discussed openly in a supportive way

Appointment of Wellbeing Officers

Park Court has appointed 8 wellbeing officers

Training

New Park Court has provided senior members and staff with guidance on health and wellbeing support. This guidance focuses on reinforcing overall good management practices, preventative and early warning approaches, and how to refer and support those who are in need of specialist support.

Assistance Programme

New Park Court has aligned itself with the Wellbeing at the Bar programme and encourages members to access the Assistance Programme (a 24-hour helpline/counselling service) available to members of chambers and staff through the IBC and LPMA.

New Park Court’s work on wellbeing is impressive. Their strategy demonstrates a clear understanding of the many drivers of wellbeing and the need for an approach which considers all aspects of chambers’ life. Their considered approach, the range of interventions and activities delivered to date and their plans for the future demonstrate an authentic attitude which should be applauded.

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

What were the results?

Members/Staff have accessed support successfully.

Tips

  • On wellbeing, you need to back up your words with action
  • Early intervention helps
  • Confidentiality is absolutely critical when providing support. Inform on a must know basis only, maintain support (especially if treatment required)

The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


Get in touch Policy & practice

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