International law firm Ashurst will defer 50% of bonus payments for its 2,800 eligible employees until November 2020 to deal with the financial constraints of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The organisation will pay its employees half of their annual bonus in July 2020, with the remainder paid at the end of the year.
Additionally, Ashurst will reduce the salaries of its partners by 20% for six months, while salary reviews for the 2020/2021 financial year will be delayed until 1 November 2020.
With exception of staff in the busiest areas of the business, employees are being asked to reduce their hours by 20% for three months, commencing on 1 May 2020. This will see employees’ salaries also reduced by 20%. However, employees will still retain their full-time benefits such as paid leave, superannuation and pension contributions.
Paul Jenkins, global managing partner at Ashurst, said: “The health crisis we are seeing in the countries where we operate is unprecedented. We’re all trying to do the best we can to navigate the very different world we now find ourselves in.
“The decisions we have made are difficult and we do not underestimate the impact they will have on our people. They are necessary to protect jobs and avoid the redundancy situations that other professional services firms have needed to consider.
“The 80% work pattern will help manage capacity levels of the business in the coming months. It will impact teams at different times depending on the demand from clients. The firm is fully operational and while working virtually in most locations, we are able to allocate resources according to client need.
“We all have an important role to play as business partners and members of our broader community. I have said regularly to the firm as the Coronavirus impact has unfolded that ‘we are all in this together’ and I have no doubt that Ashurst will emerge strongly from these challenging times.”