Employees at Denton Wilde Sapte’s Milton Keynes office have proposed to slash their wage packets as an alternative to seeing their colleagues made redundant, but the proposal has failed.
The Lawyer understands that representatives in the firm’s Milton Keynes property team, who are part of a firmwide consultation aimed at shedding 80 jobs, proposed that all team members take a 12 per cent salary cut over a period of eighteen months.
A source said that when this proposal did not receive management endorsement, representatives then proposed that all Milton Keynes property employees take an indefinite salary cut of 10 per cent.
CEO Howard Morris confirmed: “A proposal for a salary discount was under discussion in Milton Keynes. We were open to it but it’s no longer a solution for that team. As a consultation is still ongoing I cannot comment on what the proposal consisted of.
“The firm has certain cost-saving goals and if we can meet them without making redundancies then we’re happy about that. No one would ever chose to make people redundant if there’s an alternative. It takes a long time to build up a good workforce and we’re always reluctant to reduce it.”
Morris said that possible reasons the salary discount proposal is no longer being considered are that either it did not achieve the intended cost-saving goals or that it received insufficient support among the Milton Keynes property team.
He said that any proposals to save jobs must come from appointed representatives, rather than management itself, adding: “We’re not a unionised workforce so we can’t impose salary cuts.”
Dentons launched a redundancy consultation at the end of last month (20 January). While this was due to come to an end this week, Morris said that the process was delayed by the heavy snow at the beginning of this month
Jobs are under review in all fee-earning departments aside from competition, tax and TMT, with the London and Milton Keynes offices both affected. The marketing, accounts, facilities and compliance functions will not be affected.