Chambers will be required to allow all self-employed barristers to take parental leave once rule changes are approved by the Legal Services Board (LSB).

Following consultation, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has agreed to change the equality rules to enable all self-employed barristers to take parental leave, regardless of whether their spouse or partner does.

The BSB said the leave entitlement should be for a minimum of one year away from practice, though barristers would not be obliged to take the full entitlement, and that chambers’ policies should allow for flexibility.

BSB Director of Strategy and Policy, Ewen MacLeod said the change could help to encourage gender diversity within the profession.