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5 weeks of annual leave now on offer at BigLaw firms

Alongside home loan support and subscriptions for electric vehicles, numerous national firms are stepping up the incentives for staff.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 23 June 2023 Big Law
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As recently reported by Lawyers Weekly, some of the biggest firms operating in Australia are not waiting for potential disappointment to manifest and are already taking steps to support the holistic needs of staff amid the cost-of-living crisis and potential (if not likely) recession to come.

Lawyers Weekly reported earlier this month that K&L Gates is now offering monthly subscriptions for electric vehicles, while fellow global player Herbert Smith Freehills has partnered with mortgage broker Legal Home Loans to provide staff with access to better home loan options, a special cashback at loan settlement, and ongoing finance check-ins.

These firms are not the only ones to be offering such incentives.


National firm Lander & Rogers will, from 1 July, increase leave entitlements, offer salary packaging for EVs, and provide home loan support.

The firm will, it said, provide five weeks of paid annual leave, up from the current leave entitlement of four weeks, accessible during the next financial year. Moreover, staff will have the option to lease an EV by way of salary packaging, using pre-tax income. Finally, discounted home loan rates and priority service available for home loans, investments, refinancing and other options will be available through Legal Home Loans — moreover, firm employees have regular access to seminars on financial health and budget planning through its employee assistance program (EAP).

In a statement, Lander & Rogers chief executive partner Genevieve Collins said that the firm is conscious of the rising costs of living and additional pressures that staff members are feeling.

“We will continue to review and update our employee benefits to ensure our people, and their families, receive the support they need in the office and at home,” she submitted.

This approach, she proclaimed, is reflective of the growing role that culture and shared values play in staff recruitment and, ultimately, retention.

“People want to feel genuinely supported and respected in the workplace, and to benefit from initiatives that support work-life integration and reflect our responsibilities in the wider community,” Ms Collins argued.

Elsewhere, the world’s biggest firm, Dentons, is now offering its employees an additional five days of bonus leave annually, which it said is “designed to encourage employees to take the time to recharge by using their annual leave to ensure they receive the benefit of bonus leave”.

Employees at Dentons who have 10 or fewer days of annual leave balance and over 12 months of service at 30 April will receive five bonus leave days on 1 July, to be used that financial year.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, firm chief operating officer Maureen Migliazzo said: “It is vital we take the time to relax, recharge and re-evaluate. Our bonus leave is intended to reward our people with additional time to prioritise their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.”

Corrs Chambers Westgarth, for its part, introduced five additional days of bonus leave (separate from annual leave) for all staff back in 2018, “to allow our people to recharge and spend time on priorities outside of work”.

Such bonus leave, the firm said, can be taken at any time between 1 July and 30 June each year, regardless of annual leave balances.

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