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Equality, diversity and inclusion: a business case
As well as the moral case, there is a strong business case for equality, diversity and inclusion.
Benefits of equality, diversity and inclusion in your organisation are:
- meeting regulations
- improving your reputation and public relations
- recruiting a larger variety of applicants
- higher staff engagement and retention
- reducing legal risks linked to workplace discrimination or harassment
Your organisation’s duties
Equality Act 2010
You must meet your duties under the Equality Act 2010 so that your organisation:
- promotes equality in employment
- is not taken to court or tribunal
- does not allow discrimination, harassment or victimisation
SRA Standards and Regulations
You should also meet the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s equality and diversity requirements and expected outcomes set out in its guidance on its approach to equality, diversity and inclusion.
These are set out in:
- principle six of the SRA Principles, “You act in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion”
- chapter one of the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs and the SRA Code of Conduct for Firms, “You do not unfairly discriminate by allowing your personal views to affect your professional relationships and the way in which you provide your services”
If your organisation has a reputation for equality and fairness, you’re more likely to attract a large variety of applicants. These applicants will have a wider range of skills and knowledge, increasing your chances of getting the best person for each role.
People who are looking for a job think diversity is important in the workplace. A Glassdoor study from 2014 found that 67% of people actively look for employers who value diversity.
The population of people looking for a career in law is becoming more diversified every year.
Valuing and supporting the diversity of your staff can improve engagement and productivity. It also means staff are more likely to stay in your organisation, which lowers recruitment costs.
If staff feel comfortable being themselves at work, they'll perform better and are more likely to stay in your organisation. For example, they may share opinions and ideas which can increase productivity.
Flexible working and home working can also help retain staff. Benefits include:
- helping staff find a good work-life balance
- supporting people with caring responsibilities
- increasing productivity
- reducing office costs
To make sure your organisation is relevant to clients from diverse backgrounds, you need to show that you support equality, diversity and inclusion.
When you pitch for new work, clients will be interested in what diversity initiatives you offer. It may impact who the client decides to partner with.