BCLP's religious leave policy is "illegal", a source has told RollOnFriday.
Apparently the firm recently commissioned Herbert Smith Freehills to produce a written legal opinion on the firm's religious leave policy. It is not clear whether the instruction was triggered by the recent BLP merger with Bryan Cave, a complaint from an employee or something else.
According to an insider, the opinion rather startlingly confirmed that BCLP's current religious leave policy is "illegal" and that "all staff are entitled to compensation". And that if BCLP was to change the policy, that "would also be illegal".
Neither the policy nor HSF's opinion has been disclosed (ping us a copy, BCLPers). A source told RollOnFriday that the issue wasn't that one religious group was given more rights to take time off for religious festivals than another, and that the scope for religious leave was open to all faiths.
The firm was tight-lipped. A spokesman said, “The firm has a Religious Leave Policy, as part of its wider diversity and inclusivity initiatives. As with all such policies, it is subject to periodic review”.