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08 April 2020

Taylor Wessing asks staff not to cancel pre-booked time off during lockdown

Top 50 UK firm cites need for rest periods to maintain wellbeing, especially while working from home

Portrait of Shane Gleghorn

Shane Gleghorn: 'Rest periods important for wellbeing.'

Taylor Wessing is asking staff not to cancel pre-booked time off during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure they take sufficient rest periods during lockdown.

The top 50 UK firm is also requesting that staff take two thirds of their annual holiday before the end of August so that capacity can be maintained in the final third of the year.

The moves were unveiled today as part of a package of measures in response to the pandemic, including the withholding of all partner profit distributions and the furloughing an unspecified number of staff ‘whose roles have been impacted by the move to remote working’.

It joins a growing number of leading firms to have outlined the steps they are taking to shore up their finances in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak.

In a statement released today, managing partner Shane Gleghorn said it was important for staff to take time off in order to preserve their wellbeing.

“Demands on people's time are greater than ever and many of the normal support structures people rely on have changed,” he said. “Everyone's personal circumstances are different, but being able to have rest periods from work is even more important for wellbeing, especially when working from home.”

He added that the measures were being taken “with a view to the long-term preservation of jobs and sustainability of the business”. 

Salaries of the unspecified number of staff being furloughed under the UK government’s furlough scheme will be topped up to from 90 – 100%.

The firm joins Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in implementing measures this week in the face of the pandemic.

In a statement released on Tuesday HSF said it was: reducing partner profit distributions; freezing salaries (with the aim of reviewing them in six months); and phasing the payment of 2019/20 bonuses, with 50% paid in July and 50% by the end of the calendar year.

“This is a global and evolving crisis, with major human and economic impact,” it said, “we cannot predict how long it will last, or how deep it will be.”

It added that it was in a strong financial position following a partner capital increase over the last twelve to eighteen months.  

On Monday, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer said it was delaying its Q4 partner distributions and staff bonus payments and freezing pay as it positions itself to ride out the Covid-19 market turmoil.

Further reading on the Covid-19 pandemic

'It is about being proactive and decisive' — Norton Rose Fulbright EMEA managing partner Peter Scott on the thinking behind the firm's flexible working scheme

General counsel braced for six-month shock to their businesses, survey finds — MoFo poll of 110 GCs finds them making unprecedented decisions as HR issues dominate

'Now is the time for law firms to deliver on their stated values' - Consultant Tony Williams advises law firm leaders to avoid knee jerk decisions and go into communication overdrive during the Covid-19 crisis

Cadwalader suspends partner distributions and cuts salaries as Covid-19 impact grows

Allen & Overy boosts partner capital and freezes salaries, Reed Smith slows distributions

Listed top 30 UK firm DWF issues profit warning as impact of Coronavirus bites

Unprecedented response to Covid-19 is 'testament to legal profession's resilience

US businesses 'clamouring' for guidance on fast-moving Covid-19 crisis, survey finds

Staff welfare, supply chain and privacy: the coronavirus-related issues keeping GCs awake at night

'I have realised how powerful technology now is': an Italian lawyer's take on Covid-19

Coronavirus risk may be unprecedented, but the fundamental principles of crisis response still apply

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