Call follows publication of SRA’s gender and ethnicity pay gap reports
The Solicitors regulation Authority (SRA) is encouraging firms to publish their ethnicity pay gap reports after releasing their latest gender pay gap and ethnicity pay gap data.
While publication of the gender pay gap report is a legal requirement for organisations with more than 250 employees, there is no current obligation to publish an ethnicity pay gap data which has prompted the SRA to call on firms to do so voluntarily.
The reports showed that the SRA’s median pay gap between Black, Asian and ethnic minority and White staff reduced from 15% in 2021 to 12.7% in 2022. This is still wider than the ONS UK-wide average of 2.3%. The SRA has also published its dedicated workforce senior ethnicity inclusion action plan, which sets out its targets, steps on career development and recruitment and how it will monitor and assess its progress.
Covering the reporting year up to April 2022, the latest gender pay gap report shows that the SRA’s median pay gap between male and female staff was 11.2%. This is an increase of 1.9% since 2021, while the median bonus gap has increased by 26.8% from the negative gap last year. The increases are largely driven by changes in the proportion of males and females at the more senior levels. The pay gap remains narrower than the Office of National Statistics (ONS) figure of a UK-wide average gap of 15.4%. The report sets out planned actions, which include reviewing the SRA’s reward strategy and how it recognises staff, as well as its policies, processes and practices. Many of the measures in the ethnicity inclusion plan will also help to address the gender pay gap.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said:
“We believe that is it important that we, and others in the legal sector, publish our ethnicity pay gap in order to support and drive on-going change and progress in this area.
In terms of both gender and ethnicity, we continue to have good diversity in our overall workforce, but these latest figures confirm that we need to do more to reflect that diversity in more senior positions. We have a number of projects and initiatives in place to help us to do that, as set out in our action plans, including a target to double Black, Asian and minority ethnic presence in our senior management team over the next five years. We are looking forward to improving both pay gaps in future.”