A Scottish employment lawyer has issued an appeal to legal firms to demonstrate support for their staff during the current coronavirus emergency.

Musab Hemsi of Glasgow practice LexLeyton said he had heard some "horror stories" of firms ignoring current Government advice – which now includes working from home where possible. He contacted the Journal to say:

"Faced with a global pandemic, clear and effective communication from business leaders becomes paramount. Human resources specialists are able to call upon an impressive arsenal of support, such as ACAS guidance in the context of coronavirus. 

"UK firms are tapping into their contingency strategies. Enforcing holidays, agreeing unpaid leave and utilising lay-off are three options to assist cashflow and seek to safeguard jobs. Outside of the box, some firms are engaging their teams in community support projects, assisting elderly/vulnerable groups or charity partners, although Boris’s most recent edict may preclude even that.

"There are practical steps that law firm leaders should clearly communicate to their teams:

  • The whole country is in a similar situation – support each other.
  • Maintain efficient and regular updates with your people and each other.
  • Don’t leave anyone out.
  • Use technology, find solutions and keep productive.
  • If travel is necessary, take the path less trod.

"Keep safe, keep healthy and stay upbeat. This is our new short term, uncertain and rapidly changing reality. Not every law firm has the resilience to maintain continuity – don’t be shy to ask for help. We are in this together, however long it might be."