Law is a rewarding profession – but with long hours and a high-pressure working environment, it can also be a stressful one.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the mental health challenges that have come with it, have brought these issues into even sharper focus. At DLA Piper, supporting our colleagues' physical and mental wellbeing is a key priority.

Health and wellbeing strategy

In 2019 we launched our health and wellbeing strategy to help our people manage their wellbeing. Read more about this in section 1.2 Health, safety and wellbeing of our Sustainability Report 2020/21.

Supporting our people

"Throughout my career I have often been involved in advising on mental health and wellbeing issues, both from the employer and employee side. I strongly believe that employers have a key role to play in supporting employees' mental wellbeing."
Helen Colquhoun, Partner, Employment and SPEAK ambassador in Hong Kong

To support mental health during the pandemic, we ramped up the resources available to colleagues and rolled out new initiatives, complemented with more frequent communication about the help available. A major initiative was the international launch across all of our countries of our MyCare EAP and online app.

We also launched our online coronavirus hub, with guidance on coping with the demands of remote working, maintaining healthy working practices, staying positive and connected, and avoiding burnout, and rolled out our SPEAK Ambassador programme, a network of colleagues who have been specially trained in how to have conversations about mental health. See section 1.2 Health, safety and wellbeing of our Sustainability Report 2020/21 for more details.

Other initiatives included a refreshed flexible working policy, a resilience programme to help our people navigate the stresses and anxieties of lockdown, and additional support such as home workstation assessments by ergonomic specialists. This support was offered to all our colleagues, with a special focus on those with pre-existing health conditions and new or expectant mothers.

Tracking our performance

Over the course of 2020 we ran five wellbeing surveys to gain insights into how our people were coping during this challenging year. Many of the health and wellbeing resources we launched during this time were based on the valuable feedback we gained from these surveys.

We will carry out three further short surveys in 2021, along with one longer engagement survey later in the year.

What's next

We'll continue to focus on our COVID-19 response, ensuring it remains relevant across all countries. We also plan to increase engagement with our EAP internationally, and to scale our SPEAK Ambassador programme. We are also working to gather more data and metrics to inform our approach.