Staff at law firm allowed to work from home – but for a 20% pay cut

One organization is offering some flexibility, but employees may expect a salary dip

Staff at law firm allowed to work from home – but for a 20% pay cut

For lawyers and employees of London-based Stephenson Harwood law firm, working from home comes at a cost of a 20% pay cut. This is the law firm's latest offering to staff as more firms across the world shift to post-pandemic working arrangements that include lessons learned from the pandemic. It also comes after the company employed workers outside of London.

It affects the company's over 1,100 employees, according to a report from The Guardian, as well as most of its international offices. The firm has outlets over Paris, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.  The offer, however, is not extended to the law firm's partners. According to The Guardian's report, the company is currently implementing a hybrid work option where employees are working remotely for two days a week.

"Like so many firms, we see value in being in the office together regularly, while also being able to offer our people flexibility," a spokesperson told The Guardian.

Citing its employees' experience with hybrid work, the law firm told the media that it is not expecting a lot of staff to avail the permanent work arrangement. Should a junior lawyer avail the said offer, their starting salary of £90,000 could get lose £18,000, said The Guardian.

The twist in the law firm's policy comes as more companies join the emerging trend of implementing flexible working arrangements for staff in the post-pandemic era.

Just recently, Airbnb announced that it will be offering staff the chance to work anywhere without having to worry about a pay cut.

Read more: 'People always valued flexibility – COVID made it a necessity'

Flexibility as deal breakers

The offer comes as more employees request for flexibility in the workplace, with the benefit even becoming a crucial part of how they choose their next employer.

A new study from HR and payroll software provider CIPHR revealed that having flexible working hours and flexible working locations are among the top 10 most-valued benefits for employees.

The study showed that 57% of employees see flexible working hours as the most valuable, while 27% believe having a flexible working location is the most valued perk.

The rest of the top 10 include:

  1. Paid sick leave (67%)
  2. Flexible working hours (57%)
  3. Pension contribution matching (46%)
  4. Mental health and wellbeing support (40%)
  5. Performance bonus (39%)
  6. Four-day working week with full-time pay (37%)
  7. Extra holiday allowance (32%)
  8. Employee discounts scheme (30%)
  9. Flexible working location (27%)
  10. Market-value salary (26%)

For those interested, there are tools like Perkspot which make employee discount shemes easier to administer.

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