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Published 14 June 2021
DAC Beachcroft has won the Most Innovative HR Initiative award at the 2021 People in Law Awards for its career returners programme Reconnect: A Life that Works as you Return to Law.
The programme, which was launched in October 2020, is designed to provide support to people who have had a career break to have a family, take on care responsibilities or pursue other interests as they return to the legal profession. People in Law’s judging panel recognised that it ‘tackles a very important challenge and opportunity for law firms, by removing the impact on lawyers of taking a career break and giving returners to the profession hope and confidence to resume their legal careers’.
DACB supports returners with training, mentoring, and flexible and agile working arrangements. Successful applicants are able to join the firm on an initial six-month, fixed-term contract (FTC) with the support of a return-to-work coaching plan, giving them time to get to know the role and gain experience in their new position, with an opportunity for roles to become permanent.
The programme was created with the support and guidance of Women Returners, in particular Client & Programme Director Hazel Little.
Sue Jenkins, DAC Beachcroft’s Talent Partner, said, “Reconnect was driven by our belief that there was a group of untapped lawyers, a pool of talent who could bring unique skills from time away from the law to whom we wanted to provide an opportunity to whilst also enabling us to plug talent gaps.
“We’re delighted that the programme has been recognised by People in Law; it’s a project we’re proud of and believe will make a positive impact to the diversity and performance of our teams.”
DACB’s Reconnect programme was shortlisted for the Excellence in Human Resource Innovation Award at the Legal Innovation Awards in May; at that ceremony the firm also took the Outstanding Training Innovation Award for its refreshed trainee development programme.
DAC Beachcroft is committed to being a place where talented people want to work. To support this aim, the firm has implemented a number of initiatives to provide a working environment that encourages colleagues to thrive in an inclusive culture. In recognition of its efforts, DAC Beachcroft was named one of the Top 30 Employers for Working Families by the charity Working Families in September 2020.