The bigger the firm, the bigger the perks

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A poll of 254 legal firms has found that bigger firms provide employees with many more benefits. 

While most firms are now offering flexible working hours, lawyers are most likely to benefit from the trend at a larger firm, this year’s Australian Legal Industry Salary & HR Survey has found.  Nearly 94 percent of firms with 25 employees or more are now offering the benefit, up from 81 percent in 2013.

Conducted by the Australian Legal Practice Management Association and Rusher Rogers, the research revealed that although there has been an increase of over 10 percent in the number of small firms offering flexible work hours, only 64 percent of firms with one to 24 employees are currently offering the benefit, the survey has found.

Smaller firms are also less likely to pay overtime.  While 73 percent of large firms and 68 percent of medium firms pay their staff overtime, only 45 percent of firms with 25-75 employees and 25 percent of firms with less than 25 employees offer additional pay for afterhours work.

The most common benefits offered to employees by firms included training, professional association memberships, flexible hours, celebrations and organised social activities. Additional superannuation, a car or car allowance, gym membership and social responsibility volunteering programs were among the benefits least likely to be offered by firms.

Paid maternity leave was the benefit that revealed the greatest discrepancy between firms, with just 21 percent of small firms offering paid maternity leave compared with 91 per cent of large firms.