Once again the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is requiring firms to report their diversity data. The SRA have indicated that they will be asking firms to report diversity data to them in summer 2021 with precise dates yet to be confirmed.
This year, the SRA have made a number if changes to the questions asked including changes to the questions used to monitor socio-economic background, the ethnicity, sex and gender identity questions and minor changes to the religion or belief and sexual orientation questions. The revised questionnaire can be downloaded HERE.
So far as socio-economic background is concerned, whilst the SRA have kept the same three questions that they used in the 2019 diversity questionnaire, they have changed the wording to align with the wording in the government’s guidance “Simplifying how employers measure socio-economic background” which was published in November 2020. They have also changed the wording of the questions on sex and gender after considering the research undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in preparation for the 2021 Census and have aligned the ethnicity question with the Census 2021 by adding Roma as a subcategory for the White group and removing White/Chinese as a subcategory for the Mixed/multiple ethnic background group. Finally, they have made minor changes to the wording of the sexual orientation and religion or belief question, removing reference to straight for those who select heterosexual and removing reference to Atheist in the option for those who select no religion or belief.
The SRA is hoping that firms will be able to use the new questions when reporting, but understand that some may not be able to update their systems in time for reporting in late summer 2021. Those firms will still be able to report their data using the 2019 questionnaire by aligning their data to the new questions and the SRA will provide guidance on how to align the data in the user guide for reporting data which will be published when the portal is ready. The 2019 questionnaire is available HERE.