International firm Norton Rose Fulbright has laid off members of its IT team, after deciding to withdraw from the government’s furlough scheme at the end of the month. The firm said the redundancy consultation process had begun before the Covid-19 crisis hit.

Five business services staff have lost their jobs in a drive to improve efficiency and reorganise the firm’s global IT function. Meanwhile, secretaries and other business services team members who were furloughed will return to work from July.

Norton Rose Fulbright will reopen its London office on 6 July on a restricted basis. However, staff will receive $300 for home office equipment, as the firm prepares for more remote working.

A spokesperson for the firm said: ‘Based on the generally positive experience most people have had of working from home, the majority of our people would like to have more flexibility in their working arrangements in the future. In future, over half our people in EMEA would like the flexibility of working from home some of the time and a third would like to do so most of the time.’

Earlier this year the firm introduced a temporary flexible working scheme, deferred partner distributions, and delayed staff salary rises and bonuses. However, the firm said activity levels ‘have remained resilient’ and some parts of the business have been being busier than before. 

The firm has now decided to pay bonuses in full in two parts: half in July and the other half in October.