City law firms increase lawyer leave in light of lockdown 3.0

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By Aishah Hussain on

‘Lockdown leave’ schemes aimed at working parents and carers

A number of City law firms have reviewed their policies to support staff balancing work and care responsibilities in light of the new lockdown.

Allen & Overy announced this month that it will “reset” its emergency paid leave policy. The magic circle firm allows staff to use five days of paid emergency leave during a 12-month rolling period, but this has now been reset to enable those who had already used up their leave to benefit from another five days.

Hogan Lovells has similarly given staff an additional five days of emergency leave to be taken throughout this year, and so has Simmons & Simmons, on top of the six days already offered by the firm.

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Boris Johnson plunged the country into a third national lockdown last week following a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. With schools shut for the majority of students, and remote learning continuing in homes, law firms’ family-friendly policies will help working parents and carers achieve a greater balance between their professional and personal lives. The government is expected to review the situation around the February half-term break.

Meanwhile, BCLP has said staff can receive two days’ additional paid leave per month to be taken in instalments of a minimum of a half day. The firm also introduced reduced hours working arrangements which will be matched with a corresponding reduction in pay.

Gowling WLG and Eversheds Sutherland have also refreshed policies to provide staff with an extra day’s holiday for every four taken to care for dependents.

Elsewhere, Shoosmiths has confirmed it will provide staff with an additional three days’ paid leave, while DWF has afforded staff an extra day as part of its Carers Leave policy.

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