A group of lawyers and support staff at Mills & Reeve has volunteered to work a four-day week to avoid seeing any colleagues lose their jobs.
Staff in the corporate and private client group self-managed an initiative that saw six staff accept various reductions in their working hours so that no one would need to be made redundant.
HR director Sandy Boyle said: “A number of people in some teams collectively said, ‘Look, why don’t we all do this?’”
Individually, a number of other employees have arranged to reduced their working weeks, with 14 lawyers and 20 support staff now working fewer hours.
Across the firm Mills & Reeve saved around 25 full time-equivalent jobs by encouraging staff to take four-day weeks, sabbaticals or internal secondments.
Three lawyers and two support staff have taken sabbaticals of six to 12 months, while 10 lawyers have transferred from teams such as corporate and real estate to busier groups, including health and insurance.
Boyle explained: “This is about managing our resources and keeping them in line with activity levels. Arguably, if we hadn’t done it we may have had to take more drastic action.”