The firm has adopted a policy dealing with equality and diversity, as required by the SRA. This policy primarily addresses the “protected characteristics” of the Equality Act 2010:
- gender reassignment;
- marriage and civil partnership;
- pregnancy and maternity;
- religion or belief;
- sex; and
- sexual orientation.
RLE Law is committed to avoiding discrimination on any of the above grounds in its dealings with clients and potential clients, other solicitors, barristers and third parties, and in relation to all current directors and employees, as well as applicants for positions within the firm and all related recruitment activity, along with internal promotions and training opportunities. The directors are also committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of the firm’s operations, including our services to clients.
In addition to the firm’s obligations not to discriminate against, harass or victimise those with a disability the firm is also subject to a duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent those employees, directors and clients who are disabled from being at a disadvantage in comparison with those who are not.
Liability for acts of discrimination might extend beyond the individuals concerned to the owners of the firm. For this reason, any deliberate breach of this policy is likely to be regarded as a serious disciplinary offence that might justify instant dismissal. Any internal complaint that a breach of this policy has occurred should be addressed to Delyth Ames without delay in accordance with our disciplinary process and a complaint from outside the firm under the complaints handling process.
Training has been provided on this topic and on this policy and will be repeated as necessary.
Signing facilities will be provided by the firm at its own expense for clients who are in need of them. The firm is able to offer access for wheelchairs and interview facilities but no toilet facilities and it is not practicable for the firm to provide them. We are therefore pleased to offer home visits to clients or potential clients at no extra charge within a radius of ten miles of the firm’s offices.
The firm will make all reasonable adjustments in relation to staff who have a disability or health condition e.g. mobility issues or requirements for a particular chair to accommodate a back complaint
Counsel and experts
If a client expresses a preference for an adviser that is based on any of the above grounds you should try to persuade them to modify their instructions. If they refuse to do so we may have to cease to act for them further.
Monitoring and review
This policy will be monitored periodically by the firm to judge its effectiveness and workforce diversity monitoring will be conducted as required by the SRA through a questionnaire-based exercise. The firm has appointed the Emma Hardwidge to be responsible for the operation of the policy. The firm will aim to monitor the ethnic and gender composition of existing staff and applicants for jobs (including promotion) and the number of people with disabilities within these groups and will review the equal opportunities policy as an element of this overall policy as appropriate.