Three more law firms are offering enhanced emergency leave to its U.K. workforce as the national lockdown threatens the balance of work and childcare or other caring commitments for staff.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has introduced refreshed enhanced flexible working options in light of the most recent lockdown. Staff will receive two days’ additional paid leave per month to be taken in instalments of a minimum of a half day, a spokesperson said on Friday.
BCLP is also allowing staff to reduce working hours to a part-time basis for a minimum of three months and maximum of six months, unpaid sabbatical of a minimum of six weeks and maximum of three months, and an un unpaid option of up to five days for those who may need a shorter break.
“A range of reduced hours’ arrangements will be considered and any such arrangement would be matched with a corresponding reduction in pay”, a spokesperson added.
Several firms have announced emergency leave relief efforts for the legal workforce in recent days. Earlier on Friday, Simmons & Simmons said employees have been given five additional days of emergency COVID leave.
Gowling has also refreshed its policy and introduced a ‘lockdown leave’ scheme, which provides staff with an extra day’s holiday for every four taken to care for dependents. The scheme runs until February 15, a spokesperson said on Friday.
The firm has also enhanced its Time Off to Care for Dependents policy, which now allows staff to take one day of paid leave – on top of any unpaid leave – should they need to “help set up arrangements for future”, a spokesperson said.
Fellow U.K. top 50 firm Shoosmiths has also confirmed it will provide an additional three days paid leave. Interim COO, Louise Hadland, said on Friday: “We already have a successful flexible working scheme in place, uniquely supported by a commitment to say ‘yes’ wherever possible to a request to work flexibly. We are encouraging staff to choose from a range of options that will help them through lockdown and ensuring we can remain committed to our clients.
“This includes a temporary change in hours, condensed hours, varying work patterns that fit with home demands or using holiday in days or hours as needed.”
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.
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