Performance related pay on the increase

A NEWLY-PUBLISHED survey reveals that 1994 was the year of performance-related pay (PRP) for large London-based law firms.

Salaries are now linked to performance in nearly 60 per cent of City firms. Two-thirds of those introduced PRP last year, according to a survey of London practices with more than 25 partners.

The research into employee benefits by recruitment consultants Quarry Dougall also reveals a wide variation in staff perks.

Some firms offer a range of benefits, including pensions, enhanced maternity pay and a Christmas bonus, while others offer just a straight salary.

Consultant William Cock says: “Perhaps at the forefront of assistant solicitors' minds are the pension arrangements on offer, ranging from firms which do not operate a scheme through to those that operate their own scheme and contribute as much as 11 per cent to the employee's annual salary.”

Firms not offering a pension have had to increase the basic salary to attract solicitors from firms that do offer a pension, says Cock.

Most London law firms provide private health insurance, death-in-service benefit and financial assistance for travel to work. Half provide enhanced maternity benefits and 20 per cent offer paternity pay ranging from three days to a fortnight.