Simmons Latest To Up Emergency Leave Allowance

Simmons & Simmons is the latest firm to join emergency leave relief efforts for the legal workforce.

A firm spokesperson said on Friday that employees have been given five additional days of emergency COVID leave.

“These days of leave can be taken flexibly, enabling employees to manage their time in a way that allows them to balance their caring demands with their professional life”, the spokesperson added.

The additional leave runs on top of the six emergency child, adult or elder care sessions offered by the firm through its benefits platform for U.K. permanent employees. The firm is also encouraging staff to discuss their flexible working demands in order to ensure a balance between work and childcare commitments or other caring responsibilities.

Several firms have expanded policies to support staff balancing work and childcare commitments or other caring responsibilities, in light of the U.K.’s most recent national lockdown.

On Thursday, Allen & Overy said had ‘reset’ its emergency leave policy for staff in response to the latest lockdown restrictions, allowing staff an additional five days.

Meanwhile, listed firm DWF has provided an additional day as part of its Carers Leave policy, now providing 1.5 days to give people more flexibility while caring for a dependant. HR director, Helen Hill, said the firm wants to be “as supportive as possible” and is offering a range of flexible working options, including changing times of work or reducing working hours.

Eversheds Sutherland has also reintroduced its enhanced holiday scheme until the end of February, which provides staff with an additional day of holiday for every four taken to care for others. It has also enhanced its Time Off for Dependents Policy to help those who are balancing work and family or caring responsibilities, this time offering three days of fully paid emergency leave.

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