Staff at Norton Rose have voted overwhelmingly in support of the firm’s flexible working scheme, which will give the firm the option to put partners and salaried staff on a four-day week.
The contingency plan, which can be put into action at any point over the next 12 months, was supported by 96 per cent of staff in a vote.
It will allow the firm to ask staff to work four days a week on 85 per cent of base salary, or take a sabbatical of four to 12 weeks at 30 per cent of base salary.
Norton Rose CEO Peter Martyr: “This is a starting point – we want to use it as sparingly as we need to. But this makes things much easier to deal with as we don’t have to take a long-term decision which could be catastrophic.
“Nobody gets less than 80 per cent of their annual income and all the benefits remain the same.”
When the scheme was announced last month, Martyr said that partners would be included in any flexible working arrangements (16 March).
He told The Lawyer: “It’s right for partners to take the lead and say, ‘we’re standing in this together’.”
Salans has also offered flexible working to some of its staff, with four-day working on 80 per cent of pay or sabbaticals on 30 per cent of pay (23 March).
Simmons & Simmons is in negotiations with staff in one of the departments affected by its redundancy consultation with the aim of reducing hours by 10 per cent to save a single job.