CMS UK launches time out policy to enable staff to take one month of unpaid leave


Law firm CMS UK has recently launched a new ‘time out’ policy, enabling staff to take up to one month of unpaid leave every year.

The policy, which is eligible for all of the firm’s employees, excepting trainees, has been designed to help staff address their work-life balance by being able to take up to one month off work unpaid, with no questions asked.

The time out requests are subject to an approval process and are granted at the discretion of the practice group leader or director.

The new policy forms part of the firm’s wellbeing programme, which aims to support employees in managing their health, stress and workloads. The programme includes regular mindfulness sessions, lunch and learn sessions on topics such as nutrition, managing finances, positive parenting and managing workloads, access to an on-site clinician in London for coaching or cognitive behavioural therapy and the use of internal wellbeing ambassadors.

The policy was communicated to employees at internal networking events, such as the Women in Business event, and has been referenced in internal meetings.

CMS UK has 3,700 employees in total.

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Penelope Warne, senior partner at CMS UK, said: “We are committed to developing a culture which supports a shared responsibility for managing a successful work-life balance. We recognise that some of our people may wish or need to take an extended break from work for a wide variety of personal reasons during the course of their employment.

“All employees, with the exception of trainees, are eligible, within each calendar year, for a time out break where they may apply for a period of unpaid leave of up to one month. We continue to evolve our policies to support a culture where reasonable requests and a spirit of personal responsibility will be encouraged and supported.”