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Mobile working ‘needs to be embraced by law firms’

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Around two-thirds of large law firms signed up to the Law Society diversity charter have so far failed to embrace mobile working solutions.

This is according to the results of an annual self-assessment study by the organisation, which points out that only one-third of companies are implementing flexible working, Legal Futures reports.

Some 177 firms were questioned as part of the research about their progress in following the charter, which is described by the society as the “flagship diversity initiative of the legal profession”.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, president of the Law Society, was glad to see that 70 per cent of firms have improved their achievement of best practice standards, but insisted there is still work to be done.

She added one of the biggest issues is that “barely a third can demonstrate flexible working at various levels within their workforce” and she thinks this has definitely influenced the partnership profile for Charter cohort firms.

“While there is increasing diversity at entry points to the profession, career development and retention for under-represented groups is still patchy. This is a challenge which must be addressed both by firms and the Law Society,” Ms Scott-Moncrieff remarked.

Some 33 per cent of large and 54 per cent of small firms have adopted flexible working and these firms will be able to benefit from a range of improvements to their operations. Allowing employees to work from home or remotely will typically improve productivity and wellbeing, as they feel more valued.

The study found that 34 per cent of partners were the primary carer for their children, while 16 per cent had other care responsibilities. These people will benefit from mobile working, as it means they have greater scope to meet their responsibilities outside of work.

Moving forward, more firms should recognise the importance attached to such measures.