Gleiss offers paid sabbaticals to “recharge batteries”

German firm Gleiss Lutz is introducing paid one-month sabbaticals for associates and associated partners every three years in a move to improve the work-life balance of its lawyers.

The new sabbatical scheme is kicking off in January 2014. Associates and associated partners will have the opportunity to take a paid one-month sabbatical in the third and sixth year of their employment.

All Gleiss partners have been able to take unpaid sabbaticals for many years, but the scheme is now extended to more lawyers at the firm.

The move follows other flexible working initiatives at Gleiss, including part-time working and working from home.

Alexander Schwarz, the partner responsible for personnnel at Gleiss, said the scheme was a “direct response” of a recent survey of associates that highlighted work-life balance.

“We believe that someone who can recharge his or her batteries will come back to work with increased energy and more creative ideas. This means that it is not just our employees who benefit, but ultimately the entire firm,” Schwarz added.

Like several other German firms, including rival Hengeler Mueller, Gleiss ranks fairly low in The Lawyer European 100 when it comes to diversity with women making up just 5.8 per cent of its partnership. The firm operates a low leverage, with around two associates to every partner.