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Norton Rose has secured full international sign-up to its flexible working scheme, with the firm’s France and Germany offices both giving their approval to reduced working hours.

Some lawyers in Germany are already working reduced hours after 80% of staff agreed to the scheme, while France gave its approval at the end of May.

The law firm’s flexible working scheme, which is intended to avoid redundancies through staff sign-up to fewer working hours, was approved in Norton Rose’s other 19 offices by the beginning of May.

The London office approved the scheme in March, with 96% of staff giving their support to the scheme, which enables management to put staff onto either a four-day week at 85% of base salary, or a sabbatical of between four and 12 weeks at 30% of base salary.

News that both France and Germany had approved the initiative came as Norton Rose denied claims that it had made redundancies in Paris. The firm admitted terminating the contracts of eight lawyers in the month leading up to mid-April but said there were a variety of reasons for the cuts, and stressed that they were not part of any specific plans to reduce staff count in the office.

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