In 2014, the Bar Council conducted research to identify the levels of wellbeing across the Bar and the resources which need to be implemented to better support those in the legal profession. Click here to read the full Wellbeing at the Bar report.
The findings of that report made it possible for a comprehensive programme of wellbeing work to be undertaken at the Bar. Since the report, there has been a broad consideration and discussions of the impact of wellbeing at work. Due to this greater level of awareness, we now want to establish robust reporting of the Bar’s wellbeing on a more regular basis, and so from this Spring onwards, questions on levels of wellbeing will form a significant part of the Bar Council’s biennial Working Lives Survey. The next survey will be issued in April 2020 and will provide an opportunity to track progress and set our wellbeing priorities for the next few years. This will be your opportunity to have your say on issues such as access to work, stress levels, relationships with fellow legal professionals and the fundamental impact of the experiences of being a barrister.
In 2014, the survey received responses from over a quarter of the Bar. Your answers and information have helped us to inform, formulate and review policies to improve the support for the legal profession. We worked together to lobby the government over its legal aid and cost reforms. The Wellbeing at the Bar programme implemented the Assistance Programme which is a free and completely confidential counselling service that provides help to members of chambers 24/7. We developed the Wellbeing at the Bar portal which offers further resources, links, advice and ideas for policies and practices in chambers.
With your help, we can still do more to protect the profession. Please take part in the Barristers’ Working Lives and Wellbeing Survey and encourage members of chambers to complete this survey too. We need the survey findings as a springboard to put further measures in place.
If you are signed up to receive surveys in MyBar, then you will be emailed a link with details of the survey closer to the time. If you are not signed up to receive surveys, then a link to complete the survey will be available on the Bar Council website in due course.