This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, appointing wellbeing officers, promoting use of an assistance programme and encouraging mental health training.
Monckton Chambers enjoys a reputation of being a friendly and supportive set and became increasingly conscious of the need to promote wellbeing to its members.
As a Chambers, they have had direct experience of individuals with wellbeing issues. They also had concerns that some individuals had wellbeing issues but were unable to acknowledge or address them.
In addition, Monckton Chambers are a younger set than they used to be. This means they have many members and staff who face the pressure of balancing childcare and professional responsibilities.
Chambers wanted to improve the support mechanisms that were already in place.
Monckton considered it essential to make wellbeing an integral part of Chambers’ ethos and culture. Their primary objective was to ensure that Members, staff and pupils were healthy, happy and felt supported by Chambers.
They also considered additional benefits associated with a focus on wellbeing, including: attracting and retaining staff and Members; reducing absences; and reputational benefits for Chambers as an employer.
Wellbeing is prioritised and discussed openly at the Management Committee and in chambers meetings. Monckton Chambers raised the importance of wellbeing at its annual meeting to get “buy in” and encourage individual engagement.
Chambers reviewed practices from other Chambers and professions for best practice ideas and then:
In addition, Monckton:
Enhanced existing support mechanisms in place, such as: Annual Practice Review meetings with the clerks; support for flexible working; embedding the culture of the clerks ‘offering’ work rather than ‘imposing’ it.
In instances where a Member has struggled with private pressures and/or their workload, a package of appropriate, individually-tailored measures have been devised (which can include compassionate leave, financial support in the form of a rent holiday, help from the clerks with returning briefs, active diary management in conjunction with the clerks to ensure adequate breaks and to avoid diary overload).
Chambers subscribed to Health Assured 24/7 for the benefit of all Members, staff and pupils. Health Assured offer a confidential helpline along with useful webinars, an E-hub app and an online portal.
Other activities include:
“Clearly a well thought out approach to wellbeing. We are particularly pleased to see measures put in place to support members who need assistance, as well as the resilience training offered widely across chambers, backed up by a trained wellbeing first-aider.”
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.
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