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'Life Changing' Scheme: Law Firm Shortlisted for HR Excellence Award

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OXFORD, U.K. - eTradeWire -- Oxford-based Firm Reeds Solicitors are Shortlisted for a HR Excellence Award due to a scheme to provide flexible working to employees.

The companywide scheme, introduced during the Pandemic, allows staff more flexibility with their working patterns. It has seen a third of employees adapt their working hours, reporting greater motivation, mental and physical wellbeing and discretionary effort across the business.

Reeds Solicitors hope that by providing flexibility to people's working lives, it will lead to a more diverse workforce. In their diversity and inclusion statement, Reeds comments that a diverse and inclusive workforce has a "positive impact on clients".

It is estimated that nearly 70% of 1.8 million lone-parent families with dependent children are employed in the UK. Many struggle to find a balance between the demands of the workplace and raising their children. These difficulties are greater for the parents of children with complex care needs (including those with physical and mental disabilities).

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"If you don't have a client appointment, then why not pick your child up from school and finish your paperwork at a time that better suits?" says Judy Matthews, Group Practice Manager.

One working parent at Reeds Solicitors commented that the new scheme allowed them to to fit her working patterns around her children's needs. The employee says she is "grateful that [she] can work without having to feel guilty about taking time off or relying on colleagues during difficult times". Another employee uses the flexible working scheme to provide one day a week childcare support for a grandson.

The scheme has been beneficial for those in current studies, and working as a carer. One staff member called the new policy "life changing" as it allowed them to work around their physical disability. The scheme being open to all staff removes any distinction between able and disabled people, nor does it highlight any employee's accessibility needs.

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Whilst the transformation of working practices may raise questions to whether the scheme could be abused by some staff, the results have been the opposite.

Head of HR Lillie Debbage said: "Implementing these changes in the working habits of our staff has improved their experience of working for Reeds. This is clearly demonstrated by the huge drop in sick days and other absence we have recorded since the rollout of the scheme; A 66% reduction of absence due to illness, and a reduction of 75% staff turnover."

Lillie tells us that this has resulted in new policies and plans around sick leave being put on hold, as the reduction has made this a low priority to the business.

Reeds (http://www.reeds.co.uk/).co.uk, employs over 200 employees across 20 offices, are one of four shortlisted for the award. They are ranked as a Top Tier law firm by the Legal 500.

Paul Southwood

Source: Reeds Solicitors
Filed Under: Legal, Human resources

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