Our ethical trading compass
We are emphatic that the needs of our users must always be our first priority. However these days, in order to meet the needs of our users, we cannot rely only on grants from Government or other funding bodies. The reality is that, in order to be able to continue to provide our high-quality service, we need to raise money in other ways. This compass explains the ethical principles that underpin our trading, and the specific actions we have committed to in order to guard against these principles being compromised, now or in the future.
Law for Life
Ethical principles which underpin income generation / trading activity
Actions we will take to guard against these principles being compromised
Mission and values
Law for Life works to ensure that everyone has the knowledge, confidence and practical skills they need to secure access to justice.
Social justice through legally empowered individuals and communities.
To promote public legal education and information (PLE) as a tool for empowering people, securing access to justice and tackling inequality. We will work together with others to identify and promote excellence in its research, design and delivery.
The core values which underpin all our work are:
We believe that social justice goes hand-in-hand with empowerment. People should have the knowledge and power to take action on the issues that are important to them.
We believe that collaborative working and involvement of users delivers the most effective results.
We believe that as an independent organisation we can ensure that our work reflects the needs of our audiences.
- We use evidence to help us understand where there is greatest need, and focus on priority audiences and issues.
- We actively involve our users in the development of our products and services.
- We will always consider if the benefits of generating income may outweigh the benefit we wish to deliver to our users/potential users.
- We will always put the interests of the people who use our services first, regardless of any commercial partnerships or arrangements.
- We will ask our users what they think of the ways we generate income and change them if a significant number express unhappiness with them.
- We will consider the ethical approach of any potential commercial partner to ensure that it contributes to our mission and values and does not undermine our own ethical policy.
- We will make sure that we act in a manner which maintains or enhances the good reputation of Law for Life and the wider sector through consultation.
Equality and diversity
Law for Life aims to be a centre of excellence in public legal education working across the UK to eliminate prejudice and promote social justice. Equality of opportunity is therefore at the heart of Law for Life’s practice and policy. We value diversity within our paid and volunteer workforce.
We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures. This applies to our professional dealings with all staff (including all volunteers), partnership organisations, funders and the people who use our services.
We will treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of:
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity or
- caring responsibilities
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
(Taken from our Equality and Diversity policy)
- We aim to ensure that our products and services meet the needs of our diverse audiences.
- We recognise that this means that we sometimes have to take positive action to make sure that some audiences have the same access to our products and services as others. For example, where we charge for products we will consider ways of offering them to people on very low incomes.
- We include demographic information in our monitoring surveys and work to increase the proportion of our users from underrepresented groups.
- When developing charged for products or services we will ensure that those who are most likely to experience lower levels of opportunity and less likely to be able to access justice do not receive a lower level of product or service as a result of the charge.
- We will actively work to ensure that no product becomes inaccessible as a consequence of price and or by reason of other vulnerability.
Law for Life is committed to explaining how we raise funds and generate income, and how the money is spent.
Where there are charges for services provided via the website they must be separate from the information. And the charges must be set out clearly, before the service can be accessed.
- Where there are charges for products or services, these will always be set out clearly and transparently before the service can be accessed.
- We will provide a clear and prominent explanation about any arrangement with other organisations or individuals that provide a source of income for Law for Life.
- We will publish an annual review which sets out what we have achieved, who we have helped, and how we are funded.
- We will continue to publish our accounts in accordance with SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice for charities) requirements.
Law for Life is an accountable organisation that users, volunteers and funders have trust and confidence in. We believe that as an independent organisation we must ensure that our work reflects the needs of our audiences.
- We will continue to invite feedback on all aspects of our service, and act on it.
- We actively invite people to take part in evaluation which includes asking people about things we haven’t done well.
- We offer a complaints procedure which is easily accessible on our website.
- We will publish accurate information about our work and funding in our annual review.
Ethical trading compass concept from Charging for Services, Trading and Ethics, NCVO
Published: 12 March 2019