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Total of 77% of firms in North have zero plans to hire
Pic: Shutterstock

08 Apr 2021 / employment Print

77% of firms in North have zero plans to hire

A survey of the North’s solicitor profession, published in The Writ, shows that 81% of firms had furloughed between one and ten employees as a result of the pandemic in May 2020. This had declined significantly to 42% by November.

Of those firms surveyed, 91% cited a COVID impact on turnover, with 45% declaring this to be significant. In all, 95% of firms in the North saw a decrease in turnover of up to 50%.

The number of firms that had made staff redundant rose from 5% last May to 22% by November, with  a total of 77 secretarial and support staff laid off.


While the percentage of solicitors not on furlough by late last year had risen from 39% to 62%, there were fewer significant changes in the number of secretarial and support staff laid off.

Just 6% of Law Society of Northern Ireland member firms had one trainee on furlough last November.

In May 2020, almost 38% of firms said that they were likely to make further redundancies, with a similar number uncertain, while 23% said they had no plans for lay-offs.

These percentages had reduced significantly by November, with 58% saying there would be no further redundancies.

Reduce hours

While 66% of respondents had plans to reduce hours or pay last May, this had dropped to 30% by November.

The vast majority (77%) of respondents said they had no plans to hire within the next six months.

The survey was delivered electronically, both in May and November 2020.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland