Cripps reacts to partner criticism with redefined sabbaticals

Tunbridge Wells firm Cripps Harries Hall has overhauled its longstanding compulsory sabbatical scheme for partners, which has proved both popular and divisive.



Tunbridge Wells firm Cripps Harries Hall has overhauled its longstanding compulsory sabbatical scheme for partners, which has proved both popular and divisive.

Since the sabbatical policy was introduced in the mid-1970s, every equity partner has taken three months off work for every 10 years of service at the firm.

The time periods have now been reduced, meaning equity partners will only have to take off six weeks every five years.

The idea of the scheme was originally to give partners time to recharge and to encourage teamwork by showing that life at the firm goes on, even without the partner, explained Cripps managing partner Jonathan Denny.

However, there grew a feeling within the partnership that being forced to take three months off at a stretch could have a negative impact on clients and make returning to work increasingly difficult.

Shorter but more frequent enforced breaks were felt to be more beneficial.

A similar scheme currently also exists for salaried partners, associates and heads of support groups, who take six weeks out every 10 years.