Global law firm Dentons is asking its 1,100 UK employees to work a four day week or reduced hours for six months, effective 1 June 2020.
Due to the the financial constraints of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the new scheme which is voluntary, will see employees’ salaries reduced by 20%.
Additionally, partner distributions will be deferred and drawings will be reduced by 20%, both for six months. However, partners will continue to work full time.
A number of employees who have been unable to effectively work remotely, or from teams where full capacity is not currently required, have been furloughed until 31 May 2020 on full pay.
Similar arrangements are being proposed in the Middle East.
Jeremy Cohen, chief executive at Dentons UK and Middle East, said: “The impact of the pandemic could be longer or shorter, deeper or shallower than we currently anticipate. While our work patterns have held up reasonably well so far, all the economic indicators point towards an unprecedented contraction of global GDP (gross domestic product) over the coming months. We are therefore taking these pre-emptive measures as the most prudent course of action.
“The thrust of the government’s response is to preserve jobs so that the economy can kick-start once we are over the worst of the crisis. We want to take a similar approach by protecting our balance sheet whilst preserving our business in anticipation of a busier period later in the year. The measures we are taking are flexible – we can turn them off or adapt them at any time in response to client requirements.
“Right now our priority is to ensure we are in the best place to support our clients through their own responses to Coronavirus, while showing loyalty to all of our people who have performed so well at a time of true national crisis. Our aim is to come through the crisis with the same sense of togetherness as we have gone into it.”