Data shared with management
Magic Circle outfit Slaughter and May is backing up its in-office requirements by monitoring when lawyers enter the building, and sharing their attendance data with management and HR.
The firm currently mandate three days a week either in the office, with a client, or in court, with trainees and new joiners expected to be present more frequently.
According to an email sent to lawyers from the firm’s managing partner, Deborah Finkler, “gate data (showing when people come into and leave the office) will be shared on a monthly basis with Group heads, Business Services directors and HR managers”. Staff should, therefore, “assume that if you are not in the office (or at a client, in court etc.) in line with the policy, this will be raised with you and you will be asked to comply”.
Legal Cheek understands that this comes in response to a small minority of lawyers not meeting the minimum attendance requirement, with the firm setting out its position in the interest of transparency, and to be fair to all staff.
Also in the email, first published by the website RollOnFriday, Finkler noted that “we have all experienced benefits from having some flexibility in our working week”, but that “this has to be balanced against the very clear benefits in terms of culture, collaboration and well-being of working together in the office”.
The three day policy is subject to the caveat of requiring greater in-office hours “if client or business need requires it”.
This comes less than a month after the firm made permanent a new flexible working policy, ‘Switch On/Off’, which allows lawyer to reduce their hours and pay to 0.8 or 0.9 of their full time equivalent.