Special help for those with caring responsibilities

Life happens, and it happens to barristers as much as to anyone else. There will be times when you have no option but to look to the welfare of others – parents, children, and spouses in particular – and cannot leave them to cope while you go off to court.

Returning to the Bar after having a family, or having had a period away coping with aging parents or a disabled spouse can be very stressful as you rebuild your practice and juggle work and your caring responsibilities. Inevitably you will also have cash flow challenges.

Assistance is available.

  • If your absence has been children-related, talk to other parents at the Bar: find out how they manage their work loads.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your clerks about what you can and cannot do.
  • Talk to Chambers about what financial assistance is available.
  • Put in place as much ‘back up’ child care, or care for the elderly, as you can.
  • Look to carers’ organisations for practical support and advice: see for example, the Carers’ Trust http://www.carers.org/help-directory/dealing-change.

The Bar Council has a crèche in both London and Leeds, and is looking to expand facilities on the Circuits. For more information see: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/supporting-the-bar/parental-support-hub/.

For further information and resources please see www.wellbeingatthebar.org.uk.