Walker Morris introduces staff sabbatical scheme

Law firm Walker Morris has launched a sabbatical scheme this month (November) for all of its solicitors with more than two years of service, with around 160 people currently eligible for it.

A sabbatical can be taken after workers have built up a defined period of service post-qualification from 1 November 2021, and they will be eligible for up to four weeks of paid leave in addition to their annual holiday entitlement.

Solicitors can elect for the two or three-year scheme, which involves those with two years of service being entitled to a two-week sabbatical and those with three years can take four weeks. It can be extended by using two weeks of holiday entitlement, and has been engineered so that time can be taken in shorter chunks over three years, effectively as extra holiday.

According to the firm, the aim is to promote a healthy work-life balance, while also acknowledging the pressures of consistent, long and anti-social hours and reinforcing its investment in talent strategy.

Malcolm Simpson, managing partner at Walker Morris, said that he has been keen to understand employees’ working preferences over the past two years so that the business can continue to develop a culture that acknowledges the importance of a good balance between work and personal life.

He explained that the success of the firm is because of the staff, with their “fresh approach, ambition, and entrepreneurial spirit”, and it is important that careers are balanced with life outside of work, keeping in mind employees’ health and wellbeing.

“Our new sabbatical scheme demonstrates our commitment to our staff, aiming to prevent the over exertion which has become endemic within our profession and providing a supportive environment for career development which, in turn, will benefit our clients long term. We are confident that this unique benefit will see our people continuing to deliver an outstanding level of service to our clients every day,” Simpson said.