Mr Macvean said the leave did not have to be taken in a solid block, and there was no minimum amount of time they had to spend in regional locations.
He said the benefits were twofold.
“First, to encourage our people to have a break and take care of their own wellbeing. We were aware people had to cancel annual leave plans and other events due to COVID-19, and we recognise the importance for people to take a break and recharge. This was especially important during COVID.
“Second, consistent with the commitment we made earlier in the year, pre COVID, to supporting remote and regional Australia following the fires and drought.”
Global firm Dentons, which cut staff pay by 20 per event without cutting hours, said it wanted “to thank employees for their dedication and hard work”.
The firm’s managing partner for Australia, Doug Stipanicev, said staff would be given nine “Dentons days” to use during the Christmas period.
“This means employees do not have to use their annual leave during the break,” he said.
Most firms put a freeze on what the equity partners could withdraw from their capital accounts to help ensure they had enough cash on hand if revenue crashed. Very few told the survey those constraints were still in place.
Michael Tooma, the local head of global firm Clyde & Co, said it was in a “much stronger position” than its leaders had envisaged.
Clyde & Co managing partner Michael Tooma says the firm did not take the pandemic hit it feared. 
“Like many businesses, we took a series of precautionary measures at the start of the pandemic to protect the long-term health of the firm during a time of extreme uncertainty, which included deferring our pay and promotions reviews and bonus payments …
“We have been able to roll back a number of the precautionary measures we took, which has included paying bonuses due to staff and resuming the phased payment of partner distributions. ”
Mr Tooma said the firm had also provided staff with one-off payments. “We had a global hardship fund for staff in need; this might be staff who have family members affected by COVID and are struggling financially.”
Herbert Smith Freehills was among the many that paid performance bonuses in two tranches rather than one lump sum. “Bonuses have now been paid in full … [and] we will undertake a salary review before the end of the year,” the firm said.
Hamilton Locke also split bonus payments. “Our intention was to seek to implement cost-saving measures, while ensuring our staff continued to be recognised for their ongoing contributions to the firm.”
Lander & Rogers said its rewards included an innovation bonus “for those who had contributed to our innovation initiatives during the year”.

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