Clients need flexibility when engaging employees – Cuatrecasas
The need for flexibility when engaging employees is a major priority for clients, says Sandra Lima da Silveira, senior associate at Cuatrecasas.
Regarding clients’ main concerns, flexibility is key, she adds, especially in relation to working hours and “cost-effective salary packages, due to social charges and taxation”. The desire for increased flexibility comes from employers rather than employees, Lima da Silveira adds. “We are starting to see employees request this flexibility, but it is not common.”
Lima da Silveira adds that corporate restructuring has become an increasingly important source of work, though M&A activity has become a more significant driver. Overall, the workload for law firms is relatively stable, and is comparable to that of the previous year, according to Lima da Silveira. There is, however, the potential for an increase in work, partly as a result of acquisitions. Moreover, in contrast to immediately after the crisis, when employment restructuring was among the main sources of work, companies are now hiring new employees, developing new salary packages and reviewing collective agreements, says Lima da Silveira. Consequently, there is a greater demand from clients for more general legal advice.
Future drivers of work could include the proposed legislative changes presented to parliament, according to Lima da Silveira. “We are expecting some changes to employment legislation,” she says. “These have been presented to parliament but not yet discussed.” The proposals relate to areas such as transfer of business and flexible working hours.
Despite the strides made since the crisis, law firms still face challenges related to pricing, Lima da Silveira notes. “Clients budgets are still reduced.”