A new Practice Note from the Law Society will support solicitor firms and sole practitioners in complying with regulatory requirements to collect data on the diversity of their workforce. The SRA requirement is for firms to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to report against their diversity characteristics. Firms will be contacted by the SRA to confirm employee numbers, and to distribute login details for an anonymous on-line questionnaire.
The characteristics to be reported in the questionnaire include job status and role as well as age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, socio-economic background and caring responsibilities.
The Practice Note sets out the context for the new SRA requirement and its implications for firms and individual members. It also provides guidance on Data Protection issues.
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Vice President of the Law Society commented:
“The Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter already provides guidance and support on how to collect, monitor, store and publish data. The new requirement will provide for consistent collection of diversity data across the profession, helping practices to review the make up of their workforces and to identify opportunities to develop greater diversity. It also will help the Law Society to meet better the needs of our diverse membership and to promote greater diversity in the profession.”
The SRA data collection exercise will begin shortly, through an online survey.
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