Senior Associate - Lawyer

Equality and Human Rights Commission

  • Team: Legal
  • Grade: Senior Associate Level 4 (SEO)
  • Salary: £38,990.64 (pending a pay award for 2022/23)
  • Location: Cardiff CF14 4YJ or Manchester M4 3AQ or Glasgow G2 7JD .With occasional travel to other locations to meet business needs.
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 4th Oct 2022 BST

Job Description

About us

We are Britain’s national equality regulator and a United Nations accredited ‘A status’ national human rights institution.

We uphold people’s rights without fear or favour. We use the full force of our legal powers to defend people from unfair or unequal treatment and to challenge breaches of the law. We advise on developing laws and provide guidance, training and support to enable compliance.

We bring people together to create change. We work with employers, governments and a wide range of organisations, to promote understanding of equality and human rights and we support them to make improvements in practice.

Our new strategy for 2022-25 gives us a strong platform to show that we will use our powers to protect and promote equality and human rights, and that we have identified the main challenges in society where we can make a difference in our role as a regulator.

Overview of the role and responsibilities

You will be working as part of the legal team within our wider Regulatory Network  providing specialist legal advice on equality and human rights law across a mix of work including:

  • cutting-edge litigation and interventions involving equality and human rights law across a range of appellate courts and

  • provision of legal advice and support to other teams on complex issues across the Commission including those working on s16 Equality Act 2006 inquiries, policy initiatives, UN treaty monitoring and parliamentary work, guidance and website materials; codes of practice lead and/ or input into responses to consultations and select committees.

As a lawyer you may be asked to work across any of our legal functions. At present the focus of the work will be within our priority area of ‘equality for children and young people’ which seeks to address discrimination and breaches of human rights for children and young people in: institutional settings (including youth justice, detention, mental health etc); accessing and participating in education as well as opportunities for training and work. Other areas of work may include new and emerging equality and human rights issues raised by use of artificial intelligence and employment.

To be successful in this exciting and challenging role, you will be a qualified Solicitor or Barrister entitled to practise in England and Wales with at least six months post-qualification experience. You will report to a legal principal (a more senior lawyer) and will work independently when required or with minimal supervision, depending on the task. You will work within agreed delegated limits and supervisory frameworks.

You will:

  • Identify and manage strategic litigation  raising equality and/or human rights issues

  • Provide high quality, specialist legal advice and analysis on complex equality and human rights law to external and internal stakeholders

  • Work mainly autonomously or with minimal supervision, within delegated limits and supervisory frameworks

  • Build and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders  to maximise the impact of the work we do

  • Manage and monitor resource in relation to funding provided by the Commission, processing and recording finances accurately and efficiently

  • Monitor progress and risks on matters, escalating significant risks to senior colleagues where appropriate

Team Responsibilities

The legal team is part of the Regulatory Network which sits at the heart of the Commission. We make use of a range of different tools to ensure regulated bodies feel enabled and motivated to comply with their equality and human rights obligations, and that non-compliance has serious consequences. Our holistic model of regulation means we use the right regulatory lever at the right time and in the right circumstances to achieve our goals. 

This is an exciting time to join the Legal Team. A vital part of our remit is using our regulatory powers to uphold and advance equality and human rights. We work strategically, using our powers selectively to protect people against serious and systemic abuses of their rights and to clarify equality and human rights law.

You may be asked to work on a Commission project, similar to our current race legal support fund or our previous education and transport projects, assessing external applications to assist individuals to bring discrimination claims in all areas covered by the Equality Act 2010. You will work alongside other Commission lawyers on the project and the extent of your involvement will depend on the volume of referrals and the legal resource available.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

Experience, Knowledge and Skills required include:

Essential

  • Qualified Solicitor or Barrister entitled to practise in England and Wales with at least six months post-qualification experience.

  • Ability to provide legal advice on equality and human rights law and to make recommendations to support the Commission in its decision making.

  • Ability to conduct/oversee strategic litigation in the higher courts, under supervision.

  • Ability to translate complex legal concepts and advice into clear, concise language and accessible, user friendly documents for internal and external audiences.

  • Ability to analyse information and evidence and assess compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and/or the Human Rights Act, under supervision.

  • Experience in planning and organising your work to meet delivery targets in terms of time, budget and outcome.

  • Ability to undertake legal research and provide briefings and guidance on specific legal issues.

Desirable

  • Ability to analytically examine equality and human rights issues. In conjunction with internal and external stakeholders, identify critical elements and make practical recommendations to improve practices, policies and legislation.

  • Knowledge and experience of equality and/or human rights in one or more of the following areas: children and young people in institutional settings (including youth justice, detention, mental health etc) education, training and/or work; employment and new and emerging equality and human rights issues raised by use of artificial intelligence.

  • Knowledge of regulatory law and experience of using the law as part of a multi-faceted strategy to drive change.

  • Experience of project management.

  • Experience of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Benefits

In addition to a competitive salary, we offer a range of benefits including flexible working patterns, 30 days annual leave plus 8 bank holidays (full time FTE), access to the Civil Service Pension Scheme and partnership pension schemes, and enhanced parental leave benefits. More information can be found in the candidate pack.

How to apply

If this sounds like the role for you, please review the attached Candidate Pack or more information and submit your application today!

If you have any questions, please contact Hermione McEwen - Hermione.McEwen@equalityhumanrights.com

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an accredited Disability Confident Leader and operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for candidates with a disability.

Should you wish to apply under our Guaranteed Interview Scheme or request a reasonable adjustment, please indicate this in your application.  

If you require an alternative accessible version of the application form or wish to discuss your application or reasonable adjustment  – please contact us by email at recruitment@equalityhumanrights.com or by telephone on 0161 829 8100.

Diversity in our workforce

At the Commission, we are proud of our respectful workplace that values the contribution of all our staff, whatever their background.  We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment. Our recruitment decisions are based on fair, open competition, with appointment on merit. We welcome applications from everyone to ensure we achieve a balanced representation in our workforce in all grades.

Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You won't need a CV to apply to this job

Start your de-biased application

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Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You won't need a CV to apply to this job

Start your de-biased application