COVID 19 and Restricted Practitioners Working From Home

29 Jun 2021

The following notice applies only to those restricted practitioners who are affected by COVID-19 while in an existing employment arrangement. Restricted practitioners who are entering into part-time or remote supervision arrangements unrelated to COVID-19 should continue to make applications as required under the Guidelines.

The Legal Practice Board is aware that COVID-19 may affect the supervision of some restricted legal practitioners in that many law practices and other employers will be implementing plans for staff to work remotely from home or another alternate location.
The Board’s Admissions & Registration Committee have noted the need to:

  • Minimise uncertainty for law practices and practitioners; and
  • Enable the Board to calculate the periods of supervised legal practice completed, and be satisfied as to when a restricted practitioner has completed the “required experience”.
In that regard, until further notice, the Board has amended the Supervised Legal Practice Guidelines to the extent that:
  1. The requirement to seek prior approval of remote supervision arrangements is suspended;
  2. The requirement to seek prior approval of part-time arrangements is suspended; and
  3. The letters that a supervising practitioner must give to a restricted practitioner when they cease having primary responsibility for that restricted practitioner’s supervision must include:
    1. The commencement date and cease date that the restricted practitioner was employed under his or her supervision (Period);
    2. The commencement date and cease date during which remote supervision arrangements were utilised due to COVID-19 during the Period;
    3. Confirmation that the supervising practitioner maintained the minimum supervision arrangements required under the Guidelines at all times during the Period;
    4. Confirmation that the restricted practitioner practised full-time for the whole of the Period, OR details of the commencement dates and cease dates, and comprehensive information, about any periods of full-time or part-time practice arrangements, or changes of role; and
    5. Confirmation that leave taken during the Period did not exceed the ‘usual’ entitlements (20 days annual leave and 10 days personal leave per annum, pro rata for shorter or part-time periods) OR dates and types of leave taken during the Period.