Can I work flexibly?

  • Print
  • Comments (3)

Readers' comments (3)

  • Flexible working

    If you have the statutory right to request flexible working then the firm must consider your request (they don’t have to acceded to it). If you don't have that right then the firm can disregard your request.
    I am surprised that the firm does not have a policy outlining their approach (we do) to such matters and some would argue that having a talented lawyer working at the firm 4/5ths of the time is better then 0/5ths of the time.
    However, the key thing to consider is the impact on your clients and your colleagues of you not being full time. You would have considered any impact on your career and would not have made the choice you made without serious consideration.
    The firm, if it takes its employee relations seriously, should consider a well made case that has answered the questions of impact on clients and colleagues and as long as you are willing to be flexible too when the client / deal needs then there is little to be lost by having a grown up conversation.
    If they refuse then you can always move to a firm with a more enlightened approach, such as ours.

    (HR manager, Silver Circle firm)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Lawyers working part-time

    Part time work should not be difficult to manage either for an employer or employee. I have done it for many years both for BLP (formerly Berwin Leighton) and now for the Local Authority. The secret, for an employee, is not to have two days off together nor be off on a Monday or Friday. That way client’s and colleagues don’t miss you and no-one is inconvenienced – which is the perception when it comes to part-time working. I don’t think job share is the answer because there will always be one party who thinks they are doing more than the other etc. Both employer and employee should be flexible and swap days around on occasion when necessary. As long as the employee is talented, organised and works smart on the days in the office then it should be a win win situation. I suspect many an employer pays a lot of money to full time employees for hours spent chatting by the coffee machine and smoking outside the building – at the same time it is impossible to expect employees to be productive for what is often in excess of 10 hours a day, 5 days a week for 48 weeks of the year. Not everyone wants to be a Partner but nor do they want to have to take a part-time job in Tesco’s!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Flexible working

    Yes it is possible. I work part-time in the corporate department of a Magic Circle firm (A&O).
    Flexibility is the key - both by the firm, your colleagues and you. Equally important are support from junior lawyers and staff (who you will probably still need to supervise to keep things moving even when you are out of the office) and good technology to allow access to current matters if urgent items arise. Yes I do spend time on my days off on Blackberry and occasionally also logging in or attending conference calls, but this flexibility allows me to spend more time on other interests whilst also meeting client and firm needs. I am working on "proper" corporate deals, which means I also do not always take my fixed days off, especially if a transaction is at a critical stage. On the other hand as we assess my working time over an annual period, I also take extra days of annual leave to make up for days lost. I do not feel I am losing out and am happy with how it works.
    Lawyers working fixed hours (e.g. 9 to 5) tend to have a pay cut beyond the pro-rata, however those working flexibly like this tend to get straight pro rata (if you work 80% you get 80% of the full-time salary).
    P.S. I also know a Senior Associate in a top US law firm in London who worked 50% over the year (in blocks or transactions) and both parties were happy.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (3)