Freshfields leads UK firms on maternity pay

August 9, 2012 Legal Week has surveyed the leading law firms in the UK and ranked them according to the generosity of their respective maternity packages for fee earners below partnership level.

At the top of the ranking is Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which gives all staff employed for at least 18 months 26 weeks full pay followed by six weeks at 50%, with an additional seven weeks on statutory maternity pay (£135 a week) and 13 weeks unpaid.

Clifford Chance comes in second, offering lawyers and staff managers 22 weeks at full pay, plus a lump sum bonus equivalent to six weeks’ pay at the start of leave.

Linklaters and Simmons & Simmons are next, with both firms offering 26 weeks at full pay to lawyers and support staff, followed by 13 weeks on statutory maternity pay.

At the other end of the scale Bird & Bird offers staff with under three years’ service six weeks on 90%, 12 weeks at 50% pay and 21 weeks SMP, just above the statutory minimum of six weeks on 90% pay, followed by 33 weeks SMP of £135 a week.

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