More experiences reported in the Journal employment survey (see this month's feature)

Some varied employment experiences during and since lockdown...

We have had a very small number of redundancies but all staff and partners are on reduced income – gradually increasing – until our fee income normalises. We expect this to be early 2021. (Partner, small/medium sized firm)

Pay freeze has been in existence every year due to abysmal legal aid remuneration. (Solicitor, smaller firm)

Economic picture was previously fairly bleak; it is now worse. We have until now sustained a policy of no compulsory redundancies but it is extremely precarious as to whether that can continue. (In-house)

I was unemployed from 23 March having left my previous position to start a new role. That role was cancelled on the day that I was due to start. I accepted the position with my current firm on a reduced salary simply to have a job (Solicitor, smaller firm)

Not everyone expects to continue to work flexibly... 

During the last lockdown, we all required to work from home; however, we are now expected to be in the office full time. (Solicitor, smaller firm)

I didn’t previously work from home. I would like to continue doing so however the firm will be expecting us back in the office once the restrictions are lifted. I will be asking for a change to my working arrangements. (Senior position, large firm)

Worked from home whilst children were off school (tough) but when husband (teacher)’s holidays began I went into office along with my colleagues, as was expected to do so. Bosses found work for us that “could not” be done from home (Solicitor, smaller firm)

Stress is still a problem for many, and employers may not be helping...

Stress is exacerbated by the lack of business support and childcare responsibilities. My employer expects that as I am a keyworker my husband will care for my children. He earns more than me and also has a stressful job. I am looking for alternative employment as I am not prepared to cope with this indefinitely. (In-house)

Our job is stressful at the best of times but the additional worry of trying to keep everything going through COVID-19 has been exhausting and has had an impact on everyone’s mental health. On a positive note, we have all stuck together and tried to support each other and I think that this is something which will have a very beneficial impact on the firm in the long term. (Partner, small/medium sized firm)

I left employed work to work for myself as a way of reducing stress. (Experienced female solicitor)

In normal times, role can be quite stressful but has been manageable. With closure of nurseries and my work demands remaining the same however work became incredibly stressful, more than I have ever experienced in my career, having a significant detrimental effect on my mental health. (In-house)

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