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Find out what Wellbeing at the Bar aims to achieve.

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Guidance on how to introduce wellbeing policies and initiatives and on tackling a wellbeing issue in chambers.

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Case studies

Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives adopted by chambers, Specialist Bar Associations and the Inns of Court.

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4 Paper Buildings

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

4PB introduced its first wellbeing policy in May 2017 together with educational, counselling and therapeutic services for its members and personnel.

They wanted to initiate a wellbeing debate within chambers and to create an atmosphere in which all were encouraged to talk about these issues. They wanted to launch a wellbeing policy and to secure practical workshops and bolt on counselling and therapeutic services for all at 4PB.

What was the business (other case) for action?

4PB’s members and chambers’ personnel work in a high stress environment. They recognise that if issues are not identified and addressed in timely fashion then individuals could in the future suffer from significant wellbeing issues.

They also recognise the potential impact on members of the content of their family law work. If left unchecked this may in the future result in unplanned time off work and a reduction in quality of services provided and productivity of chambers generally. If not managed effectively it would have an impact on their turnover and on their reputation in every respect.

It can affect the environment in chambers, particularly energy levels and morale. On this basis, it was considered essential that wellbeing issues were identified and addressed as soon as possible for the overall continued welfare of individuals, of chambers and for the benefit of our clientele.

What did the Chambers do?

They set up a committee to consider wellbeing issues which needed to be addressed and sent out a survey to chambers which had a huge response.

They then drafted and adopted in May 2017 a wellbeing policy which sets out their aims and which appointed a Wellbeing Rep and three mentors as well as providing a bolt on counselling and therapeutic services funded by chambers.

They lined up speakers on relevant topics throughout the year to encourage members to consider the issues and to talk and to deal with the same.

They are planning other initiatives in 2018 and will review their plan every 6 months.

“4PB has clearly recognised a duty of care towards members and staff and has taken a considered approach to wellbeing, starting with finding out more about views and experience through a survey. They are now building on this by educating members with talks and presentations, having put in place clear governance and policy arrangements. Their strategy of incremental changes, followed by reflection and review is sensible.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

What were the results?

Members and personnel are much more aware of wellbeing issues, the dialogue is now mainstream and the issues taken even more seriously.

Members are also interested in helping with initiatives and in spreading the word.

Tips

  • Appoint a small manageable committee and have a well-crafted plan to put to members with a short but focused survey.
  • Ensure the draft wellbeing policy is workable and simple.
  • Make changes in increments only – it will be more effective and longer lasting.

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

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