Sackers has trained four mental health first aiders to support the wellbeing of its workforce.
The London-based pensions law firm, which employs more than 100 people, made the announcement to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week taking place this week (15-21 May).
According to Sackers, the two-day training programme with MHFA England has given those who took part “the confidence to step in and support colleagues who need assistance and guide them towards the appropriate support”.
This includes signposting access to some of the firm’s benefits, such as its employee assistance programme, psychiatric treatment through private medical insurance, and its online wellbeing platform, Thrive.
The firm’s HR director Debbie Holmes said: “The wellbeing of our staff has long been a priority at Sackers. It forms an important part of our culture and is evident in the way that people are treated with respect and kindness and through our working practices.”
She explained that the company has maintained a chargeable-hours target of 1,400 hours for its lawyers – which is significantly lower than many other firms – in recognition of the impact that long hours and a heavy workload can have on an individual’s mental health.
Holmes added: “Target hours are intended to be realistic and to facilitate a good work-life balance, and the firm encourages fee earners to meet their targets, not to materially exceed them.”
Additionally, all lawyers are assigned a group leader upon joining, whose responsibility is to check in with them on a regular basis to ensure there is an appropriate allocation of work and to help support them to manage pinch points.
Holmes concluded: “Having a healthy work-life balance plays an important role in our wellbeing and the firm is supportive of staff working flexibly. Staff work flexibly for a variety of reasons including caring responsibilities and to take time out of their working week to do something for themselves. 38% of our staff work part time and this is led from the top, with 64% of partners in a part-time working arrangement.
“Unfortunately, there continues to be a stigma associated with mental health and that is why it is our priority to keep the conversation moving so that people feel comfortable both in seeking help and knowing how to support others.”