SJ Berwin embraces flexible working with formal policy

SJ Berwin has put in place a formal flexible working policy after having informal arrangements with some staff for years.

The firm’s formal policy was approved in July to ensure that staff felt comfortable asking for flexible working arrangements.

HR director Karen Chalmers said: “We’ve made it much more formal. We can say, ‘Here is our flexible working policy and you have the right to apply for it’.”

Flexible working has already been taken up by 27 feeearners in the firm, ranging from partners to paralegals.

“Among the associate population it has mainly been taken up by women and in particular women with children,” Chalmers said.

The policy allows for flexible hours, part-time hours and some time spent working from home.

She said that although most people in the firm were supportive of flexible working some still needed convincing.

“There has already been acceptance in some parts of the business; with others it’s a matter of education,” she said.

Chalmers said any further changes to flexible working would depend on how the current arrangements work.

“We’re going to give it time to see how things play out and review accordingly,” she said.