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EMPLOYMENT

hour that they work including over their normal hours. At Juno Legal there are no unpaid hours and if work requires the lawyer to flex up and they can accommodate this, it is recognised with full payment for those additional hours. Anne-Marie McRae is a Senior Associate at Gresson Dorman & Co in Timaru. Her husband Andrew is one of the partners at the firm and Anne-Marie works in his team. Since her first child was born in 2010 she has worked part-time, although she now works close to 40 hours each week, with three days in the office. Part-time workers get paid for all the hours they do, but only up to 40 hours. “None of the lawyers at our office get paid overtime for doing more than 40 hours – it’s part of the beast of the job.” She acknowledges there may be some who only work their contracted hours, but Anne-Marie says that you have to put the client first. “We are providing a service to the client. What service would I want if I was a client? I would want my work done promptly – I would not like to wait around for my relationship property agreement to be drafted, I would want it done. There are also court deadlines to meet and this often requires putting in hours beyond office hours.” Christine says that managing expectations and her workload are up to her. “I think it’s important to make it clear to everyone – whether employers, co-workers or even clients – that you are there for the hours you 56

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work and to decline extra work if you don’t have capacity.” She also puts her hours on her email signature – then people know why she can’t respond instantly to an email. “I’ve found clients to be very understanding when they know my hours.” Anita Miller says flexibility works both ways, in the sense that their part-time workers generally have a set number of hours that they work in any given week, but if they are busy they will work longer hours and get paid for those hours.

Stress and time management (working on days off) Chris Birkinshaw acknowledges that legal work can be very stressful and flexible working arrangements would be a positive way to manage this. Chris has the same workload as before and manages it more effectively – by having a zero-inbox policy (he checks them first thing in the morning), turning email alerts

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