Banco Chambers Parental Leave Policy
1. Room sharing for new junior members is available. If two juniors want to purchase a room together (and each purchase 50% of the shares needed to occupy that room) the Board and then the floor will consider that application on its merit (subject to the usual approval procedures of the floor). Each person will be liable for 2/3rds of clerk fees.
Parental breaks taken by floor members
1. Parental leave.
a) A barrister who wishes to take parental leave is entitled to licence his or her room for the period of the parental leave (subject to the usual approval procedures of the floor).
b) If, after taking reasonable efforts, the barrister is unable to secure another barrister to licence his or her room, then the floor will take on the responsibility of seeking to secure a licensee.
c) If the floor is unable to secure a licensee, then the floor will absorb that barrister’s rent, fitout costs and clerk fees for a period of up to 6 months while the barrister is on parental leave.
d) Upon returning to work, the barrister may share his or her room with another member or with a licensee approved by the floor for 12 months in order to defray costs. In such a case, each barrister will be liable for 2/3rds of clerk fees.
2. Door tenancy
Barristers wanting to return from parental leave to work on a part-time basis may do so without taking their room back for up to 12 months, provided that their room has been licenced, in which case:
a) they will be both allowed, and encouraged, to float; and
b) they will pay clerk fees in proportion with the number of days they are in chambers during that period (eg. if a person is working in chambers 3 days per week, they will pay 3/5th’s of the usual clerk fees).
3. Mentoring upon return
a) A barrister returning from parental leave will be paired with a silk/mentor in their practice area to assist them with re-establishing their practice. The silk mentors will all be volunteers, but they will be expected to invite the returning barrister to sit or at least have ‘a presence’ in their room (if they are returning part time), to actively help them ‘re-establish’ their practice including by introducing them to solicitors etc.
b) A barrister returning from parental leave will also be paired with a barrister who has previously returned from parental leave, to be their first port of call to help them with some of the practical issues that affect barristers returning from parental breaks.
Parental breaks taken by licensees
1. Parental leave. Where a licensee wishes to take parental leave he or she may, upon 75 days’ notice, terminate the licence agreement (and the licensee will not be liable for any amount under the licence if the floor is unable to re-licence the room in the period that would have remained under the licence).
2. Door tenancy. Licensees wishing to return from parental leave to work on a part-time basis will be offered the same door tenancy privileges as members (see above).
3. Mentoring upon return. Licensees returning from parental leave will be offered the same mentoring upon return as members (see above).
Defined terms in this policy
parental leave means a period in which the person undertakes duties as primary carer taken within the first 12 months after a child is born or adopted; being for a minimum period of 6 months and a maximum period of 2 years.