Have you reported your Diversity Data to the SRA yet?
Equality & Diversity SRA Requirements
As we enter the Autumn period, we'd like to remind firms that they have an SRA requirement for Equality & Diversity, and they need to;
1. Collect, collate, analyse and report their diversity information to the SRA by January 2014.
2. Collect, collate analyse and publish their diversity information and make it accessible to clients (or other interested parties).
Last year, firms may recall that staff were asked to complete an on-line survey to provide this information, but this year the SRA are not providing facilities to do this. Instead they have sent emails out to the Authorised Signatory of all regulated firms, and included a link to a form that can be used to collect the data. The actual collation and reporting will be for the firm to do, using the MySRA system.
For the firm's requirement to publish their diversity data, they will be responsible for the analysis of it, and the compilation of it into a format that is easily readable by any client that may request it. It is for the firm to decide on what media they use to publish the data, for example whether they have it available for viewing on their website, or as a summary report in their reception areas.
The SRA analysis uses role categories to assess diversity data, for example, personnel could choose a role such as "Solicitor" and then diversity information is broken down by;
• Whether they have an ownership share of the firm
• Whether they supervise the work of lawyers or other employees
• Their age band
• Their gender
• Whether they consider themselves to have a disability
• Whether they are limited in their work activities
• Their ethnicity
• Their religion
• Their sexuality
• Their socio-economic background
• Their carer status
Even though the data collection forms are designed to be completed anonymously, some personnel may find such questions intrusive, and for those personnel they can answer questions using the "Prefer Not To Say" option on the data collection form.
Finally, when a firm is considering how to publish their own Equality & Diversity data, they may wish to consider the format that the SRA have requested it in for their own analysis, and duplicate that.
Firms may also want to update their Equality & Diversity Policies to include this SRA requirement, and communicate to their clients that their diversity data is available to them via their Client Care or Terms of Business letters.