traffic light

Not to be confused with a student traffic light party

Clyde & Co will give traffic light coloured wrist bands to staff so they can indicate how cautious they are being with Covid.

Clydes told UK staff in an internal email: "While people are happy to get back to old norms like shaking hands, we have had feedback from many that they'd prefer a more cautious approach for now." Staff will be able to choose between a red, yellow or green wrist band to display the level of contact they wish to have with other staff.

The bands will be voluntary, and a source close to leadership confirmed to RollOnFriday that “no one will be getting a slap on the wrist for not wearing one”. 

In its message to staff, Clydes set out what the different coloured bands will denote:


2019 norms

"2019 norms, green for goooooo"

02 Yellow

great to see you

It's all smiles with Team Yellow until someone sneezes.



"Greet from six feet" or "Hey! Stay away!" or "I'm being firm, I don't want your germ."

"Our shift to hybrid working has been really positive, but we are keen to make sure that everyone feels comfortable in the office and confident to express their preferences," Rob Hill, partner and chair of the firm's UK board told RollOnFriday.

"We’ve introduced wrist bands, an idea which we have seen other organisations use, as a way of drawing attention to the fact that we shouldn’t assume all our colleagues feel the same about things like shaking hands, mask wearing or social distancing," added Hill.

As staff settle back into the office, firms have set out their Covid policies, with some decreeing that staff should be vaccinated or tested. Let RollOnFriday know how happy you are with your firm's policies regarding Covid.

Health concerns aside, a red band may also be useful to keep unwanted handsy lawyers at bay. 

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 29 October 21 09:22

BLM didn't go with wristbands -- they're too expensive. Instead, the office manager dabs our foreheads with a bingo pen in the morning.

anon 29 October 21 09:37

We have been using these at WBD for a few weeks. They work really well... I tend to keep a red one handy to pop on when certain partners approach.

Lydia 29 October 21 09:51

It sounds a bit complicated although I was at a mediation this week and it was hard to know who might want to shake hands and not. In the end I think just about everyone on our side shook hands but not the mediator. I prefer not to touch anyone - this goes back to the 1970s even (used to cross the road so as not to speak to neighbours) but I can just about manage a handshake so I was hoping covid might mean we could even not bother with the hand shakes but I think we are pretty much back to normal with those.

Anonymous 29 October 21 09:52

Hardly exclusive news.

It's just a take on a traffic light party but without the shagging.

Anonymous 29 October 21 10:19

Basically if I see the head of dept coming over I put on a mask and insist on social distancing, because he stands close and leans in in an unnecesarily creepy way. Otherwise, generally, DGAF.

Anonymous 29 October 21 10:30

this goes back to the 1970s even (used to cross the road so as not to speak to neighbours)


Nothing weird about Lydia. She's someone whose opinion we should all take very seriously.

Anonymous 29 October 21 10:39

Am I right in thinking green and red are very difficult to differentiate for colour blind people?

So well done to Clyde's for their casual ableism.

Anonymous 29 October 21 12:01

Just another attempt by management to draw attention away from Clyde's workers' cold dead eyes...

Oh come on.... 29 October 21 12:27

Anon at 10:39 if that is such an issue I would have thought that traffic lights and green man crossings would pose a rather greater danger than Clydes voluntary wrist band policy.  

Anonymous 29 October 21 12:45

If you are wearing a red one, why are you going into the office at all. Standing 2m away from someone isn't going to help if you are in the office all day breathing the same air.

Anonymous 29 October 21 13:19


Colour blind people tend to struggle between red, green and brown. They can see the 'standard' / textbook colour of each but they have problems when it's a shade such as light or dark versions. This means that dark red can be confused with brown for example. This is unlikely to be a problem at Clydes as they will have gone for standard colours.


But nice to see you immediately took a negative stance to a firm trying to help their employees.

anon 29 October 21 13:42

Best thing about Covid is no more handshakes. Ever.  Just the stats on men who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom...

Anonymous 29 October 21 14:01

How about we just label everyone then we can all be grouped together in tribes and we can then apply stereotypes to those tribes. 

Anon 29 October 21 22:32

We were forced in for 2 days p/w, with no distancing, no wristbands and pizza parties. Then the absences began. 

Wildoats 29 October 21 23:05

Poor old 10.39 is getting a virtual and virtuous kicking. I just assumed they were being (successfully in my old fashioned opinion at any rate) humorous. 

This place was significantly less serious when I used it as my go-to source of legal advice 20 years ago during my training contract. 

Colourblind man 30 October 21 08:51

13.19 is completely wrong. Distinguishing colours is a matter of distance from the object, its size, how light the room is, the colour of the room lighting, as well as the relative tonal difference between two colours. Moreover, colourblind people use comparisons to make an educated guess on colours.

Have you ever tried to tell the colour of a car from 20m-40m around dusk? Get closer to the car and you see it changes colour until its easier to see. That’s the number of light particles your receptors pick up increasing. The same principle applies for colourblind people distinguishing the colours they struggle with.

What that means is that, in daylight outside, a colourblind person is unlikely to be able to tell the difference between a slender red and a slender green wristband from beyond about 10 feet, possibly less. This will be exacerbated if the two wristbands are not right next to each other. It will get worse the darker it gets - dimly lit corridors, lift lobbies, gently lit client meeting rooms, will all evoke more difficult.

Even the brightest green and the brightest red will be difficult to tell apart for a colourblind person, even from a few feet, if the room is poorly lit and the wristbands are not next to each other. 

What’s more, normal colour vision people don’t tend to like the really helpful bright colours. Even on wristbands, they will be slightly or even very “pastelly” - that matt rubber look - which increases the difficulty.

And of course the worst scenario: a wristband on its own. Without the comparative of another colour, in daylight and at a reasonably close difference the colourblind person will be pretty confident (note: not dead certain). 

Even a cricket ball in faintly long grass is hard to see at any distance.

So I’m afraid you are completely wrong. These sorts of colour coded messaging systems (see computer games with green for friendly and red for enemy) are completely impossible for colour blind people.

Which is around one in eight men and one in 200 women - not hardly anyone.

Shameful how few people bother to think about this.

Itsallred 30 October 21 13:39

Breach money laundering rules : Red light

Breach accounting rules : Red light 

Three lawyers suspended : Red light 

Colourblind man 30 October 21 20:32

Ha! I’m calling bullshit, given you don’t understand how it works or what it means. You’re anonymous, you don’t need to defend your ignorance. No-one knows you’re the keyboard warrior who is doubling down on his own idiocy.

Anon 31 October 21 05:16

That’s naughty, Itsallred @1339. Still it does show how even the regulatory experts (as Clydes are) can themselves get in trouble with the SRA….

Anonymous 31 October 21 13:48

@20:32 - you spent a Saturday night arguing with someone on an online message board.

You're not only colour blind but also a loser.

Was it wise? 01 November 21 16:15

I thought Hitler did something similar.  It seems he did - the below is lifted from Esquire.



During the Second World War, Hitler ordered the classification of homosexuals. Those deemed “curable” were sent to concentration camps and labelled with a pink triangle, as part of a colour-coding system used by the Nazis to determine the types of prisoner they were holding.

Eeore 01 November 21 16:51

I’ve been socially distancing since I was born in the 1970s. If only we’d had such wristbands for the first 50 years- these kids today don’t know they are born.


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