The Solicitors Regulation Authority has announced a support package for solicitors' well-being, including a ‘call-back’ service for small firms to discuss regulatory concerns.
The regulator says its ‘your health, your career’ initiative, unveiled to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, ‘highlights the importance of managing the risks of ill-health early to stop problems spiralling out of control'.
The SRA says solicitors can talk to the regulator ‘if they are worried about their health and how it is impacting upon their role or business’.
The support package includes: a ‘one-stop-shop’ web page providing help and signposting to support, a commitment to understanding each individual’s needs if they are struggling to cope, extending deadlines where possible and ensuring communication is ‘sensitively’ handled, and ‘practical, helpful’ advice from the regulator’s professional ethics team.
SRA chief executive Paul Philip (pictured) said: ‘Solicitors have responsible and challenging roles, often in high-pressure environments. That can take its toll on health and wellbeing, which can have a real impact at work.
‘As the regulator, we want to make sure solicitors are properly supported to do the best job they can. That means making it as easy as possible for people to let us know if things are getting difficult, and to find the right support at the right time.'
The SRA will also offer ‘tailored sensitive support’ for individuals the regulator is looking into or their firm.
Philip said he wanted to make sure the regulator was ‘understanding and sensitive’ to anyone with a wellbeing issue ‘who finds themselves’ under SRA investigation.
He said: ‘The number of solicitors we investigate is, of course, very small, but we know just how stressful it can be and all the more so if someone is unwell.’