SRA Update

Is your equality and diversity policy up to date?

SRA Update Issue 14 – September 2010

We have noticed when visiting firms and carrying out desk-based investigations that, although firms may have an equality and diversity policy, it is often out of date and incomplete. In the best interests of your firm, your clients, staff and third parties, you must not only have a written, up-to-date policy but ensure you actively use it.

Increasingly, private and public clients expect those they deal with to be committed to equality and diversity and to be operating in a non-discriminatory manner. Demonstrating your commitment to these principles could make the difference between getting business or not. You will find helpful guidance about what a policy should contain in the guidance to rule 6 (equality and diversity) of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007.

We have recently written to you enclosing a warning card about your obligations. We hope you find the card useful, and we encourage you to share it with colleagues. Visit www.sra.org.uk/equality-in-practice.

You will also need to review your equality and diversity policy to take account of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, some of which come into effect in October 2010. Visit the Government's Equality page for information about the Equality Act.