Inputs from Bar and Bench
Nishith Desai Associates has scrapped its leave policy for all members of the firm and all the members will now be free to take any number of days as leave whenever they deem appropriate. This system is going to be effective from January 1, 2021.
The press release highlights how lawyers can make their own decisions with regards to leave. It is also believed that all the Nishith Desai Associates firm members are responsible enough to take accountable actions for themselves.
Founder Nishith Desai said,
“We believe our firm members are adults, responsible and accountable for their actions. Over the last three years, our people have shown relentless responsibility, work excellence and client centricity, despite availing of the freedom to balance their lives, health and well-being. Their passion for their profession, work and clients has ensured a collaborative, supportive culture that supports individuals’ decisions on time off.”
“Firm members are advised to consider: one, how their absence will impact their colleagues and clients – and plan accordingly; and two, if they have a complex problem, they should consult some wiser person, and then take a call. In other words, even without a rule-book, the people are nudged to look up and collaborate with those who are connected to their work, and ensure the ends are achieved.“
Senior Leader Gowree Gokhale elaborated on the rationale behind the new system and said,
“Our people have always been diligent and our experiment in the past has worked well and hence we have decided to scrap the leave policy for all members. We trust our people. We believe, as responsible, trustworthy and competent professionals, each of them is considered able enough to chart their own course of action on their time away from work. They can organize their leave in a manner that best fits their personal and professional needs – and least unsettles their deliverables, clients and colleagues.”
In 2017, the Nishith Desai associates had implemented such a policy for lawyers who had been with it for at least 1,000 days. As per that policy, they were free to take their own calls on what, why, when and for how much time they took off. This system will now be effective for all its lawyers begining from January 2021.