Latest news – In-house salaries revealed; Cyber risks with remote work; COVID-19 prompts cultural change

[Australasian Law Management Journal,General Management,Marketing & Business Development,Strategy & Leadership] September 16, 2020

Salary guide lists in-house remuneration levels

In its latest salary report, consultancy firm Taylor Root has commented that the in-house function is becoming even more fundamental to the success and functioning of a business in the age of COVID-19.

The report, called 2020-21 Salary Guide & Market Report for the Corporate and Commercial Industry Sectors in Australia, outlines remuneration data for legal departments and individual lawyers.

For general counsel who cover the Australian market and who manage a small legal team or serve as the sole legal counsel in the country, they can expect to earn between $240,000 to $360,000. Those who cover the Australian market, but who also serve as a strategic adviser and report into a global GC, have salaries between $285,000 to $440,000. GCs with multijurisdictional coverage typically earn between $400,000 to $650,000, while GCs with global coverage in the corporate and commercial sectors earn above $600,000.

For company secretaries in listed companies in Sydney and Melbourne, salaries for junior professionals with two to five years’ experience range from $90,000 to $140,000; senior company secretaries in listed companies can make $170,000 to $250,000; and group company secretaries have salaries starting from $335,000.

For legal counsel with up to two years’ experience in Sydney, salaries typically range from $70,000 to $110,000, with media and entertainment at the lower end of the earning range, and energy and resources and IT and telecommunications businesses at the high end.

Counsel with two to five years’ experience can earn $85,000 to $175,000. For those with five to seven years’ experience, salaries range from $125,000 to $200,000, and for those with 10 or more years’ experience in in-house counsel roles, almost all roles across the various sectors will start at $200,000 or just under.

Legal counsel in comparable roles in Melbourne can expect to earn slightly less than their Sydney counterparts on each metric, and those in Brisbane will likely have salaries just less than those in Melbourne.


New survey reveals risks with remote-work trend

About four out of five C-suite executives expect the changes they have made with people, processes and applications during COVID-19 to become permanent, according to a new international survey.

The report from technology company Radware, called C-Suite Perspectives: Accelerated Cloud Migration But Lagging Security, reveals that there has been a sudden and dramatic shift to the cloud as a result of more people working remotely. This shift, along with a heavy reliance on service providers for security, leaves “blind spots” for their businesses.

The survey finds that 44 per cent of executives have reported a negative impact on budgets, 43 per cent have reported a workforce reduction, while 37 per cent have reported reduced office-space footprints.

The pandemic has accelerated the migration of business infrastructure and applications into the cloud, with 76 per cent of companies adopting cloud services faster than they had planned. Just over half the respondents said that the contactless economy, e-commerce, on-demand content and video conferencing has had a positive impact on their business. While the quick migration helped to maintain business operations, it potentially exacerbated cybersecurity gaps because of an increased “attack surface”.

Forty per cent of survey respondents reported an increase in cyberattacks amid the pandemic, with about one-third saying they relied on their cloud provider’s security services to provide security management for their public cloud assets. More than 80 per cent of respondents said they believed more than 25 per cent of their employees would work remotely in the future, a sharp contrast to pre-pandemic work-from-home policies.


COVID-19 ‘forces’ cultural change, HR survey finds 

Most HR practitioners believe the COVID-19 crisis has forced their organisation to “see, think, feel, plan and act differently”, a new survey suggests.

The Australian HR Institute’s report, called COVID-19’s Impact on Culture, finds that the vast majority of organisational cultures have been impacted by the pandemic. In partnership with researchers Dr Marc Stigter and Sir Cary Cooper, the AHRI surveyed 233 HR leaders in July and August, 2020, about their ongoing experiences relating to culture as a result of COVID-19.

“An interesting finding is that while 4 out of 5 practitioners believe the crisis is forcing them to see, think, feel, plan and act differently, organisations are split in how far COVID-19 has adversely impacted their culture,” the report states. “HR practitioners report that the most adverse impacts of COVID-19 on culture relate to the organisation’s morale and to employees’ wellbeing due to social isolation and job insecurity. The findings suggest that the most favourable impacts on culture are organisational courage, values and purpose.”

While the respondents agree that building a culture with a remote workforce is a challenge, they also believe that employees are connecting with each other “in a more genuine way and are more comfortable sharing details about personal situations outside of work”. “What makes a remote culture work, besides having the right technology, comes back to leadership once again, as it is leaders and managers that can enable the required levels of support, communication, collaboration and, ultimately, trust.”

HR leaders were asked whether their organisation had benefited from effective leadership and skills during the crisis. Almost 80 per cent of respondents suggest their employees have the right competencies and skills to do their jobs during the crisis and that their leaders are showing empathy and demonstrating care. However, only about half of the respondents suggest that their leadership team is “energising” the organisation.