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Dentons four-day week gets go-ahead

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Staff vote in favour of move to curb financial impact of pandemic

Staff at the largest law firm in the world by lawyer headcount, Dentons, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of temporary measures which will allow some of them to drop down to a four-day working week.

The global outfit yesterday confirmed that 94% of staff across its UK and Middle East (UKME) offices had accepted the proposals, which consist of four-day weeks, or equivalent flexible hours, and a corresponding 20% cut in pay. It will run from June to December and applies to UKME staff only.

Partners will continue to work full working weeks, Dentons confirmed, however their distributions have been deferred and drawings reduced by 20% for six months.

Dentons UKME CEO, Jeremy Cohen, said: “These pre-emptive measures will protect our balance sheet whilst preserving our business for what we hope will be a busier period later in the year.”

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He added:

“Our aim is to come through this initial phase of the pandemic with the same sense of togetherness as we went into it, and the amazing level of support our people are showing both to the business and each other by signing up to these proposals says a lot about our firm.”

Dentons isn’t the first big City player to reduce the hours of staff in response to the pandemic.

Last month Norton Rose Fulbright confirmed staff had voted in favour of temporary measures which will see some of them work four days a week and take a 20% pay cut for one year. Meanwhile, Eversheds Sutherland rolled out a new ‘Flexing the Working Week’ scheme that allows it to temporarily reduce the working hours for certain teams as and when they become less busy.

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