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"Great, five more days with the kids!"


Hogan Lovells and Allen & Overy are giving staff an extra week off work to support dependants during the pandemic.

In a boon for staff living with their children or elderly parents, the firms will give their people five more days of paid leave - pro-rated for part timers and capable of being taken in hours or days whenever required - so they can construct an emergency cardboard crown, or make up a last minute bridge team with the oldies. 

Allen & Overy has reset its existing five-day-emergency-leave-per-year counter to provide the extra days to staff, while Hogan Lovells has added an extra five days to be taken before the end of 2021 because, please God, it won't be necessary beyond then.

A&O’s emergency leave is available for all its staff, not just parents, who need to deal with a domestic or family FUBAR event.

Both firms are providing a clutch of other services to help staff grind through the winter lockdown. HogLove’s pandemic hamper includes emergency childcare sessions, counselling services, and even a ‘Link-Up’ initiative which enables employees to meet up remotely or in person if they live close by (in an outside space (as and when permitted (with masks (and sanitiser)))).

Echoing traditional office complaints that smokers get extra breaks, lawyers without kids have raised objections to extra leave for only those with dependents, the grinches.

"What the hell? How is this fair to people who didn't selfishly choose to have kids?", said one on RollOnFriday's Discussion Board.  

"You think that's bad?", said another. "My place offers 2 days' bereavement leave for grandparents dying. But all of mine died before I joined. I contacted HR asking for payment in lieu (8 days total). Hope to get a BACs transfer soon."

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Comments

Snowflakes 15 January 21 08:21

ffs most people have been on holiay since last march, id be cutting annual leave for those who have so far refused to come back at all and anyone “working” from home aka as tik tok and whatapping friends should lose 25% of their wages as they arent commuting in.  lazy gits.  We need more Gordon Geckos and less Gordon the Gophers.

Anonymous 15 January 21 10:10

@Snowflakes

People here will hate to hear it - but what you say is right.

The economy is completely shafted, the entitled culture of demanding that your employer pay you to keep sitting on your arse at home needs to end. Couldn't give less of a shit if people moan about that. 

Like, I don't care that your employer hasn't spent millions on cotton-wool to wrap you in while you are in the office. Just get out of bed and go do your job for a change. You want a face shield? Cool, make your own out of fucking cling-film or something, stop looking at your boss like he is responsible for providing you with obscure items of "PPE" that you only found out about last week. You are an adult, so stop acting like a child.

TLDR: Shut up, stop whining, and go back to the office already. Start doing some ****ing work or nobody is going to have any job at all in 2022. 

Anon 15 January 21 10:18

Well at least these firms have got their reasons in place early for pay freezes later 

Anon 15 January 21 11:11

Reading some of the comments it is clear that some people are not taking this lock-down well. 

Anonymous 15 January 21 11:31

I feel like my mind is going to snap trying to stay on top of home schooling with multiple kids who are too young to work unsupervised while also keeping on top of work. 

Anonymous 15 January 21 11:48

@11:31 - then you should get on the phone to a recruiter and get yourself over to Hogan Lovells (or A&O, whoever they are).

If you're stuck at a rubbish firm that won't give you paid time off to tend to children, then you have nobody to blame at yourself. 

If you are worth it, then simply reach out and take it.

If you are not, then continue chipping baby vomit off your your laptop keyboard between dull calls about residential conveyancing and planning matters.

Remember to check your draft emails for characters inputted by unintentional keystrokes once you are done.

Anon 15 January 21 12:13

Seriously guys, what is the matter with you? Why so much anger?

We are all struggling. This is a positive story about one firm offering a few extra days off. 

@11:31 expressed that they are finding it hard to deal with the situation, that's all. So I'm a bit surprised at @11:48's message and tone.

Anonymous 15 January 21 12:42

Very few of us are struggling.

The only ones with a problem are those 'lawyers' who are finding it a bit difficult to tap out emails about small county court breach of contract claims between bouts of telling little Dwight to stop shouting and do some colouring books for half an hour, while he jumps up and down on the sofa next to them smearing melted chocolate on the cushions.

Anyone who can afford a house with two separate living rooms (i.e. anyone with a job in law worthy of the name) is doing fine. Just put the kids in one, then go be productive in the other. Buy a bolt if you have to.

If you are reading this thinking "Hey, I'm a lawyer and I can't afford that! How dare you!" then quit your job immediately and go get a job in the 'support staff' contingent at any half-decent London firm. Even their BD bints get paid more than you. 

 

Me, Myself, and I 15 January 21 13:31

Spot on Anonymous 12:42

I'm a single mum assistant at a local law firm and am working very efficiently from my spare bedroom turned office from home. 

Childcare had been sorted the very day I returned to work and is still reliable.

If a "lowly secretary" can do that lawyers can do that, too!

Anon 15 January 21 14:20

Surely this is a performance management tool so that a partner can say “well if you can’t join that 3:30 con call because it clashes with maths, you need to put the time down as carers’ leave”. 

It’s surely a pragmatic way of trying to offer something worthwhile to those who really need it whilst balancing work commitments. Is it matched with a commensurate reduction in targets? Thought not.

I do think people need to listen to themselves though. We are in the middle of a pandemic. Nobody’s gravestone said “wish I’d worked harder”! What are you supposed to do if your young kid is there all day? Nothing Of what the majority of city lawyers (Or bankers or fund managers etc) really needs to be done today. I think we need to have more patience & kindness - just accept things will run a bit more slowly, and maybe partners will need to sell the second home. Kind of the risk of becoming a partner - taking rough with smooth and all that...

Anon 15 January 21 14:52

Anonymous 15 January 21 12:42
 

Bless.
 

Clearly doesn’t have young children if he or she thinks they can be left in a room all day five days a week.  They tend to scream, cry and break things and hurt themselves.    You try being on a call with children screaming in the next room.  

Anonymous 15 January 21 14:55

How on earth can you fairly have hours-based bonus targets applicable during periods of school closures without that that being hugely prejudicial to parents of primary-age kids - particularly mums who somehow end up picking up more of the work.

Realist 15 January 21 16:47

ROF, before printing the press releases did you check what was being offered?  Any change to targets?

It's staring you in the face. 15 January 21 22:17

@12.13 I'm not struggling at all.  You wanna know the secret?  I go into work yes into the office and i get out of the house, remember those days when you used to leave the house and go to work.  Try it sometime does wonders for the brains mental health.  It was obvious people were gonna struggle working at home in january its dark and crap, go figure hey.  I also dont have kids so im as happy as larry.  Work takes place in an office.  Home takes place in a house.  Until you muppets work that out your gonna struggle mentally and put on weight.  Wake up Britain, your fun is over.

Nanny for a fee 15 January 21 22:19

@12.42 lawyer's aren't struggling from the one's ive spoken to recently they just get their paid nannies to look after their brats.  Sorted.

Anonymous 15 January 21 22:45

It’a not ok to discriminate against colleagues without children. Any addition paid leave needs to be offered to everyone, regardless if they have children. All or nothing, to all. If there is a specific issue it should be taken up with that person’s one manager.

Having children is a choice. It’s not fair that those without children should always have to pick up the slack - a longstanding issue that goes beyond any additional pandemic leave. 

Anonymous 16 January 21 09:58

Agree with anon @22:45.

It is discriminatory to offer any additional leave to parents only.

The childless always end up being expected to work more to accommodate school pick ups, school holidays and now homeschooling...it never ends. 

Anon 18 January 21 11:05

@9:58 Not sure what role you are in but from personal experience I have never covered school pick ups or school hols, etc when I had no kids and never asked other to cover for me since I had mine.

In any case, I don't mind and would be very happy for childless getting the same leave as well. 

Anonymous 18 January 21 16:41

@11:05 I have definitely picked up the slack on deals or had to take on extra work because colleagues with kids have left/logged off work early for school pick ups and bathtime.

I have also often been forced to work over Christmas and Easter as colleagues with kids seem to get priority when booking leave at certain times of year. 

I agree with anon @9:58 and 22:45. Any additional paid leave needs to be offered to everyone. It causes a lot resentment to discriminate against those with kids while they keep having to pick up the slack. I know many friends/colleagues who feel the same.  

Childfree 18 January 21 18:07

I’ve experienced that too - have ended up shafted because I’m child free many many times as a fee earner. It impacts staffing for intense deals, who gets holiday at certain times of year and means I often end up having to work late into the night because those with kids skive off early in the evenings. The parents ALWAYS seem to get priority when booking hols during school holidays.

I don’t always mind (although I’m often fuming about it), but it can feel like they’re taking the piss and policies like extra leave for parents feel discriminatory! 

Childless Charlie 19 January 21 14:38

I hear you! I definitely feel that colleagues with young children get away with slacking off at the expense of those of us without children... I have been forced to work much more/longer as a result, which as noted by others above does feel unfair. 

My shop has a new policy of offering employees with children additional paid leave. It is discrimination - we should all be getting the same leave!

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