SRA introduces new rules to combat workplace bullying at firms

updated on 24 May 2023

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The Legal Services Board (LSB) has backed changes proposed by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) to require managers of law firms to challenge and report unfair treatment of colleagues.

The new requirements are part of a wider initiative to:

  • combat bullying;
  • tackle harassment and discrimination in the workplace; and
  • improve staff wellbeing.

The LSB told the SRA that it’ll be required to provide clear definitions of these terms to provide more clarity for regulated firms. Since these talks, the SRA has published clear guidance on its website.

These changes come under the SRA’s efforts to address toxic workplace behaviour, which, in turn, could result in those who take part in, or allow such behaviours to take place, being prosecuted.

The SRA stated that toxic work conditions:

  • impact employee’s wellbeing;
  • pose regulatory risks;
  • create poor outcomes for consumers; and
  • reduce public confidence in the legal profession.

Speaking to The Law Society Gazette, a representative of the SRA said: “We’ve seen some serious instances of people who work in law firms being treated unfairly and inappropriately. We consider it is vital that solicitors and their colleagues work together effectively and treat each other with respect and dignity”.

An exact date of implementation for these changes is yet to be confirmed, but now that the SRA has received approval from the LSB these changes are likely to come into effect “in due course”.