Pinsent Masons has shrugged off the depressed economic climate to launch the first-ever bonus scheme for trainees, with successful candidates in line for a possible £5,000 windfall upon qualification.
The bonus is automatically awarded to trainees who log more than 2,000 hours of work in one year. But the target is not restricted to client work and includes time spent in internal training or marketing initiatives.
Pinsents HR chief Jonathan Bond said the gloomy market outlook was not a factor in introducing the bonus. “It’s a way of rewarding the highest-performing trainees,” he said. “We don’t look at what the other firms do – we look at the right things to do for us.”
Pinsents’ trainee retention rate has slumped from 87.5 per cent in 2005 to 75 per cent last September, but Bond claimed the bonus was not a retention tool so much as a way of giving trainees a share in the business.
Trainees will also get the bonus if they go beyond the call of duty, such as relocating to a different office or working unsociable hours. They get a £2,500 lump sum upon qualification if they fulfil the criteria in one of the two training contract years, and the £5,000 maximum if they manage it for both.