Norton Rose Fulbright’s four-day week plans get green light

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By Thomas Connelly on

COVID-19 latest: Eligible staff vote in favour of move that will see some work fewer hours for less pay

Norton Rose Fulbright’s London office

Staff at Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) have voted in favour of temporary measures which will allow some of them to drop down to a four-day working week.

NRF revealed earlier this month that staff, including lawyers, were being asked to vote on proposals that may see them work reduced hours and take a 20% pay cut for one year, as part of “pre-emptive action” to protect jobs and revenues throughout the virus pandemic.

The global outfit today confirmed that its plans had been accepted by over 90% of eligible employees. It will take effect from 20 April and applies in offices in Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA).

The firm said it will monitor economic forecasts and work levels closely to operate the scheme in a way that protects the business and is as fair as possible.

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“Our priority is to safeguard jobs and our business for the future for our people and our clients,” EMEA managing partner Peter Scott said. “The overwhelming support of the Flex scheme shows how our people have come together, during what is a challenging time, to support their colleagues and the firm.”

He added: “I want to thank everyone for helping us reach this important milestone. I am confident that we will emerge from this stronger than before.”

NRF — which adopted a similar reduced hours programme in 2009 in an attempt to mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis — isn’t the first big City player to tighten its belt in response to the crisis.

A raft of law firms have implemented cost-cutting measures in recent weeks, including postponement of partner profits, staff furloughs and pay freezes.

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