Lawyer benefits survey reveals pick of the perks

Some lawyers are enjoying perks such as free fruit, massage and complementary therapies, according to a law firm benefits survey.

Other “imaginative” offerings listed in HR in Law: Employee Benefits Survey 2009, which was recently published, included wedding vouchers, on-site physio and raffles for tickets to events at the Royal Albert Hall.

Lawyers also enjoy core benefits that would be the envy of many. Pension plans were provided by 97% of the 128 law firms surveyed, although all respondents had stopped new staff from joining their defined benefits schemes. And 60.9% of respondents said they matched lawyers’ pension contributions – typically 5% of gross salary – but only 55.8% did this for support staff.

Some 29.2% of firms polled provide salary sacrifice arrangements to lawyers participating in their pension schemes, while 26.9% extended this to support staff. Salary sacrifice provides tax and national insurance (NI) advantages to the employee and NI savings to the employer.

Most (70.7%) provide private medical insurance for their law staff, and 14% fund extended cover to include spouses, partners and children. That cover is comprehensive for 55.9% of lawyers and for 44.8% of support staff.

More than four in 10 firms polled did not have any excess on their cover.

More than three-quarters funded income protection insurance for their professional staff, and 62.6% did so for support staff. Dental cover was provided to lawyers by 11.7%, and to support staff by 9.2% of firms polled.

Other benefits available to lawyers at the polled firms include:

  • Blackberry-type devices (86.4%)

  • Mobile phones (55.6%)

  • Childcare vouchers (73.8%)

  • Season ticket loans (49.2%)

Some 61.6% of firms surveyed offered enhanced maternity leave to professional staff, while 52% gave it to support staff. Enhanced paternity leave was also granted by 50% of firms polled. Only 10.2% of those surveyed offered an online flexible benefits system.

The online survey was carried out by benefits specialist Portus Consulting.

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