Magic circle firm Linklaters is running a pilot career scheme that would allow associates to take a pay cut in order to work reduced hours.

The plans are being tested in Germany but could be implemented in the UK, as well as other jurisdictions, the firm said. 

Under the ‘YourLink’ career path, associates would receive €80,000 (£67,000) in their first year, compared with the €120,000 (£100,000) normally offered. However, anyone participating in the scheme will work no more than a 40-hour week. People on the scheme can progress to the level of counsel but not partner.

The firm said the scheme offers top candidates the ‘mandates and challenges’ of an international law firm, an attractive pay package and clear career path in combination with a work-life-balance. 

A spokesperson said: ‘We are treating the German 40-hour week model as a pilot to understand how it works and how it might be adopted in other markets. It is an example of how we are trying to innovate with different types of flexible working to ensure we attract and retain the very best talent.’