A&L Goodbody docks snow-bound secretaries’ wages

A&L Goodbody is encouraging its staff to leave early to combat worsening travel conditions, but those ‘on the clock’ must take the time out of their pay or annual leave.

In an email sent by head of corporate David Widger to fee-earners in his department those with difficult journeys were urged to leave at a ‘reasonable hour’. But the email added that for secretaries who were ‘on the clock’, this time would need to be deducted or taken from their annual leave.

The exact definition of ‘on the clock’ is not known, with Widger questioning in the email whether night secretaries would be included in that definition or not.

In a statement the firm said: “A&L Goodbody has made no decision whatsoever in relation to deducting pay or holiday entitlement from staff members who
are paid on an hourly basis and who because of the recent severe weather have been unable to work their contracted hours.

“The issue is likely to affect only a handful of people with each case being considered on a case by case basis.

 “A&L Goodbody acknowledges the tremendous effort of all its staff in their efforts to provide a full service to our clients during the recent unprecedented weather conditions.”

Like Great Britain, Ireland has been hit by severe cold weather, with compacted snow and ice making roads increasingly treacherous. Northern Ireland, where A&L Goodbody also has an office, has been the worst hit with temperatures dropping as low as – 12 degrees celcius on Wednesday night, according to reports.