EDI – Commonly asked questions and answers provide more information for licensees

Posted: 10/18/2017

Equality, diversity and inclusionThe Law Society has fielded many questions from licensees about the two new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion requirements: the adoption of a statement of principles — and the creation and implementation of a human rights/diversity policy for workplaces of 10 or more licensees.

Many of the questions we’ve received relate to the practising status of licensees.

To help provide more guidance, we recently added the most common questions and answers to the EDI section of the Law Society website at: www.lsuc.on.ca/edi/.

Here are a few examples of those questions and answers:

Qs: I am not practising law or providing legal services. Do I still need to have a Statement of Principles? / I am retired; do I still need to have a Statement of Principles? / I work outside of Ontario; do I still need to have a Statement of Principles?

All licensees are required to adopt and abide by an individual Statement of Principles that acknowledges their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour toward colleagues, employees, clients and the public. As with all Law Society obligations, licensees must satisfy themselves that they have complied.

There is a definition of licensee in subsection 1(1) of the Law Society Act. ‘Licensee’ includes anyone who is licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to practise law or provide legal services in Ontario.

If you are licensed by the Law Society, you must meet this requirement, regardless of whether you are currently practising law or providing legal services/ regardless of the location of your place of work.

Q: My licence is in abeyance. Do I need to meet the requirement for a Statement of Principles?

A: No. Those whose licence is in abeyance under section 31 of the Law Society Act do not need to meet the requirement for a Statement of Principles.

Q; I work outside of Ontario; do I still need to meet the requirement for a Human Rights and Diversity Policy?

A: No. This requirement applies only to those in legal workplaces of at least 10 licensees in Ontario.

To see all frequently asked questions about the EDI requirements, visit the Law Society’s EDI FAQ section on the website.