Shoosmiths has announced significant enhancements and updates to its family-friendly policies, strengthening the firm’s overall people proposition.

The firm is enhancing its co-parent leave package, where those eligible will be able to take up to 12 weeks of co-parent leave at full pay, a gender-neutral replacement for the firm’s previous paternity leave of two weeks with full pay.

This leave can be taken in up to two blocks in the 12 months following the birth or adoption of a child and can also be combined with shared parental leave to create up to 26 weeks of enhanced pay (at 100% pay), subject to meeting the relevant criteria.

Shoosmiths will also partner with Apricity fertility clinics to offer an inclusive pathway to fertility guidance and treatment for colleagues. Employees and partners will have access to a free consultation and discounts to their advertised costs for any subsequent treatment.

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All changes will be effective from 1 September 2023.

These updates complement the firm’s broader suite of policies to support ‘Pathways to Parenthood’, including:

Enhanced adoption, maternity and shared parental leave up to 26 weeks at full pay

  • Assisted conception – paid time off (up to five days per cycle) under the firm’s Fertility Policy for those undergoing treatment and up to two days full pay for those whose partner or surrogate is undergoing treatment in a 12-month period
  • Adoption – paid time off for up to five adoption appointments for named main adopter
  • Pregnancy loss – all employees affected by early pregnancy loss before 24 weeks (including partners and those with a surrogate mother) are entitled to up to 10 days of leave at full pay, regardless of length of service.

The firm has also launched fully funded access to backup care covering child, adult and pet care. The firm is partnering with Bright Horizons, the UK’s market leader in this space. Every employee will be entitled to access up to a maximum of five days per year when planned care falls through.

The backup care service will launch in September, and colleagues will be invited to join a Work & Family Space portal. The portal can be tailored to personal circumstances, giving access to a huge amount of relevant resource (such as blogs, advice, and webinars) as well as discounts and offers.

Eleanor Tanner, director of people at Shoosmiths, said:

“We recognise that our people make our firm what it is – they strive for excellence and deliver that to clients. So, what matters to us is that we do what we can to support them at every stage of their lives.

“By introducing these policies, we are strengthening our overall employee proposition for the benefit of our colleagues and for our future joiners. It is sending a message to the market that if the best talent wishes to join Shoosmiths they will be supported with a generous policy package which has also been developed with inclusivity in mind as part of the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We have been able to make these enhancements because of the firm’s overall growth, with the Board choosing to make investments in people as part of the firm’s overall strategy, and we’re looking forward to seeing these policies in practice in September.”

Last week, the firm announced its financial results, delivering a revenue increase of 7% to £194.1m, a net profit increased by more than 3% year-on-year to £62.7m, sustaining a strong PEP of £676,000 (marginally up on last year’s £675,000).

The firm’s annual Impact Report was also released, detailing progress also made by the firm in the financial year of 2022-2023 in relation to clients, people, innovation and ESG (environmental, social and governance).

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