39 Essex Chambers recognises that healthy and well-motivated barristers and staff members can have an equally positive impact on the productivity and effectiveness of Chambers.
In 2019 Chambers reviewed its approach to wellbeing and introduced a new Wellbeing Policy. Chambers recognised that healthy and well-motivated barristers and staff members can have an equally positive impact on the productivity and effectiveness of Chambers. Fostering a working environment that protects the physical and mental wellbeing of its people is also good for Chambers’ business.
Chambers’ policy provides a framework within which Chambers encourages and facilitates working practices and services that support wellbeing. It aims to draw upon good practice, recognising informal support arrangements particularly among barristers, and to be flexible rather than prescriptive. It also signposts where to find support, both internal and external. It set outs clearly how the policy is to be implemented
Leadership and Governance
Support for those with a mental health problem
Develop and maintain a positive attitude to mental health
Chambers regularly survey both staff and members on happiness and wellbeing. For staff, this is done through a quarterly ‘pulse’ survey. During weekly staff meetings, staff are frequently encouraged to share happiness and wellbeing anecdotes and ideas.
The impact of actions is measured through online surveys of members and staff, feedback from the appraisal process, and informal feedback from staff and members. Culturally, there is much more openness about wellbeing and mental health as well as awareness of its importance. Early intervention has helped to ensure that problems don’t escalate.
‘39 Essex has in place an impressive range of initiatives, not only getting the basics right re policy, training and the provision of support; but also, clearly seeking to embed wellbeing into its management practices and the way chambers operates. They should be commended on such a well thought through and thorough approach’.
Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group
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.
It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.
A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’
Psychological wellbeing within the profession is rarely spoken about