The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The Equality Act 2010 sets out a list of protected characteristics in respect of which discrimination, harassment and victimisation are prohibited.
This Practice Note predominantly deals with regulatory requirements imposed by the SRA. There is a brief explanation of the Equality Act and other guidance, simply for context. For more information see Practice Notes: The protected characteristics and Types of discrimination.
The SRA Handbook commences with ten SRA Principles. These are mandatory and apply to every aspect of practice. The most relevant SRA Principles relating to equality and diversity are those requiring you to:
act with integrity
behave in a way that maintains public trust
run your business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity
The SRA does not say how you should encourage equality and diversity. Instead, it describes outcomes that you must achieve in order to comply with the SRA Principles. These outcomes are mandatory and are supported by indicative behaviours. The indicative behaviours are not compulsory; they specify but do not constitute an exhaustive list of the kind of behaviour that may establish compliance with or contravention of the mandatory principles.
It is not the intention of this practice note to simply list the relevant outcomes and indicative behaviours. Instead, they will be referred to wherever relevant.
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