International firm Stephenson Harwood made headlines this week by stating that staff can work from home permanently – but only if they accept a 20% salary cut.

Those taking up the offer will only be required to come into the office once a month and will be reimbursed travel and hotel costs when they do.

Like all professional services businesses, law firms have had to grapple with the issue of staff returning to the office following the pandemic. Many have stated they prefer to have people in, but most have offered a hybrid of office and flexible working.

The Stephenson Harwood staff offer raises a number of questions, for example: 

  • What will happen to the firm’s fees? If lawyers are putting in the same hours but on reduced money, will clients expect fees to fall?
  • Would staff on the lower salary be expected to work the same hours? And while they naturally save on travel costs, what does the firm plan to offer to cover extra communications, energy and insurance costs incurred by the home worker?

Let us know your thoughts in the thread below. Has your firm suggested something similar? Would you be willing to take a cut in return for permanent working from home?


This thread is now closed.