Firm in focus: SJ Berwin

SJ Berwin‘s flexible working policy has seen significant take-up from fee earners and support staff in London since its introduction in July.

About nine partners and 18 associates are working flexibly across a range of practice groups, including corporate, real estate and EU and competition law.

In total more than 50 staff, including the 27 fee earners, have taken up one of the flexible-working options that were put in place exclusively in the London office following the completion of a review of informal arrangements that had existed for several years.

SJ Berwin claims that while flexible working is supported, the firm operates an approval process that ensures the arrangement does not disadvantage practice groups.

“The individual has to approach the line manager and put the request in writing,” explains director of HR Karen Chalmers. “We need to understand exactly what the proposal is and how it can be effectively implemented.”

The proposal is then discussed by management and approved if deemed appropriate for the particular practice group.

Three different strands of flexible working are offered: flexible hours, part-time hours and working from home. “While we have incorporated these categories into our policy, we are very much open to suggestions from staff,” added Chalmers.