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SRA announces its approach to diversity data collection

The SRA has announced how it will be approaching the Legal Service Board’s (LSB) requirement for all approved regulators to gather a more comprehensive evidence base about the diversity characteristics of the legal workforce.

This has in part been driven by the Legal Services Act (LSA) 2007 itself, which includes a specific regulatory objective to "encourage a strong, independent, diverse and effective legal profession". Individual law firms will be required to offer all employees—not just those legally trained—the opportunity to report against their diversity characteristics, which include job status and role as well as

  • age,
  • gender,
  • disability,
  • ethnicity,
  • religion or belief,
  • sexual orientation,
  • socio-economic background,
  • caring responsibilities.

The exercise will run from July to September via an external agency, Surveylab, an online survey company specialising in employee engagement and customer satisfaction measurements. Surveylab will be contacting authorised signatories within each firm, who will then provide the number of employees working within the firm. This communication will appear to have come from the SRA.

Employees will then be given the opportunity to complete an anonymous individual online diversity questionnaire. The SRA feels this is the easiest way for both firms and employees to engage and participate in the process.

Mehrunnisa Lalani, SRA Director of Inclusion, said “We appreciate this is extra effort for the regulated community, but we hope you will work with us to fulfil this requirement as it brings with it potential benefits. It will provide us with an accurate picture of the diversity profile of the legal workforce, allowing gaps to be identified over a period of time.

"Specifically, returning this data is aligned with Principle 9 in the Code of Conduct that says firms must run their business or carry out their role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity."

Completing the questionnaire will be confidential. Further information and questions and answers can be found on this website:

Go to Q&A

Additional information on the diversity data requirements as laid down in the Legal Services Act is available on the Legal Services Board's website.

Go to the LSB website

 
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