"Hmm, the take-up's been higher than expected."
Linklaters has offered voluntary redundancy to all its secretaries in London.
In total, 225 legal secretaries and business team PAs have been given the opportunity to take a severance package.
Confirming the move, Linklaters said in a statement that it was a voluntary programme "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".
The move follows Linklaters’ decision to allow its fee-earners to continue to work from home, for up to 50% of the time, on a permanent basis post-lockdown. The anticipated take-up by lawyers means many of the tasks which PAs would have performed in the office will now be undertaken by the fee-earners themselves, in their pyjamas, at home.
A source close to management said Linklaters had no internal targets for the number of PAs it aimed to lose, and no plans for compulsory redundancies or redundancies in other groups.
The source said some PAs had fed back to management a desire for voluntary redundancy so they could acquire jobs closer to home, or roles which enabled them to work from home, or because their priorities had changed during the pandemic.
Linklaters declined to specify the incentives being offered, but said they were determined on a case-by-case basis and by length of service.
With many firms likely to permit some degree of permanent homeworking now the infrastructure is in place and it has proven popular and viable, expect plenty more to shed business services staff in the coming months.