National firm Thompsons Solicitors has become the latest to confirm reductions in hours and pay in response to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
An overwhelming majority of staff at the firm, which has strong links with the trade unions, voted last week in favour of accepting the three-month reductions.
The firm will cut hours and pay by 10% for the lowest grade staff, by 15% for mid-level staff and by 20% for the highest grade staff.
All staff will work from home at least until the end of August, with any return to the office dependent on a successful risk assessment and appropriate social distancing able to be enforced.
In a memo to staff, the firm says cuts have been necessary to protect the firm and to safeguard jobs, with all savings used to reinforce its cash position to weather the current pandemic.
Employees are being encouraged to make a proposal to their manager about how best to manage the reduction in hours, whether through a day or afternoon off, or reduced working time over the whole week.
In the immediate aftermath of the lockdown, Thompsons said its case intake had fallen dramatically and it had taken the decision to furlough 172 members of staff who were unable to work from home or whose job required being in the office.
Several firms have announced pay cuts as they seek to ride out the economic effects of the virus. In March, listed firm Knights reduced the salaries of all staff earning more than £30,000.
Staff at international practice Simmons & Simmons have been asked to take a 20% pay cut and move to a four-day week, with the firm having already delayed partner distributions and deferred decisions on staff pay and bonuses.
International firm Reed Smith has started a ‘targeted redundancy process’ in London and announced compensation reductions of 14% for fixed share partners, 12.5% for counsel and 12% for associates.
UK partners at international firm Osborne Clarke are subject to a 10% cut in their monthly draws for 11 months from this week. The firm has also announced the ‘unfortunate but prudent’ decision to reduce some staff pay by 7% from next month.