Magic circle firm Linklaters has offered voluntary redundancy packages to all of its London secretaries, in the wake of a new policy that could see staff working from home up to half of the week. In a change of tone, the practice also confirmed today that all staff will receive a bonus for their work during the pandemic.
Some 225 secretaries and personal assistants have been offered severance packages. A spokesperson for Linklaters confirmed the development, saying it is a voluntary scheme ‘which we are offering as we continue to focus on innovative ways of working and shaping our secretarial teams to support a more agile working policy for the longer term’.
Last August, the magic circle firm announced a new ‘agile working policy’ which will be introduced once lockdown restrictions are eased. Employees across the global network will be able to work remotely up to 20-50% of the time, as long as teams are told in advance and operational roles are fulfilled, the firm said.
A host of City firms have announced redundancies in recent months, with secretarial and business services teams particularly badly hit. Ince, Weightmans, Squire Patton Boggs, Shoosmiths, Irwin Mitchell, Reed Smith, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, DWF, Dentons and BLM have all announced job cuts since the pandemic took hold.
Linklaters is also handing out 5% bonuses to all staff on a pro-rata basis. Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills anounced similar measures this month.