SRA freezes minimum trainee salaries

  • Print
  • Comments (9)

Readers' comments (9)

  • The recent trend of unpaid placements (slave labour) shows more than ever the need for a minimum wage. Unfortunately, some law students seem to be desperate people and there are some unscrupulous firms happy to prey on that.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As a trainee on the minimum salary whilst I am still hoping (against all likelihood) for a pay rise I believe the SRA has made the right decision.

    While I appreciate the security that the minimum salary gives me and the level of protection from exploitation it attempts to provide the SRA has been realistic about the current marketplace.

    Large city firms may be increasing their salaries but they are not the firms terrified of the incoming ABS models and Quality Solicitor chains. It is high street and legal aid firms, that indecently that often pay the minimum salary,. that are most at risk from these proposals and I think that in this announcements the SRA realises this and is trying to protect the current trainees whilst ensuring those firm survive to give future trainees the same opportunity.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The unpaid placements point has no relevance here - the SRA minimum wage only affords a level of protection to those undertaking training contracts. It is essentially a carrot size-control mechanism. The issue with unpaid placements is that firms wave this carrot in front of (current and recently graduated) law students, but the length of the stick being used to wave the carrot (along with any accompanying wages) is what really merits regulation by the SRA.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The unpaid placements point is very relevant as it shows an increasing trend towards law firms exploiting applicants' desperation.

    If the minimum salary for trainees was removed then more firms than ever would take the opportunity to not pay their trainees yet work them like slaves with the promise of a job post qualification.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Yes there is a freeze on public service salaries but I think I am right in suggesting that was for all those earning over £21,000 and outside of London. To freeze poorly paid students already hampered by debt is short-sighted. Unless, of course, the profession really does only want those from already wealthy backgrounds!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Of course. And if the national minimum wage for all employment were removed, the entire labour system would revert/mutate into something quite different from how we currently know it. But training contracts will never be unpaid as they will retain employment status and are subject to minimum wages (be it through the SRA or more general national legislative provisions). One would be unable to be in a position as a trainee, training to qualify as a professional, without receiving a wage. It is simply not feasible to suggest that training contract salaries will slip to zero, as they are treated quite differently to work placements.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "But training contracts will never be unpaid as they will retain employment status and are subject to minimum wages"

    Completely wrong, as any unpaid trainee will be able to tell you. In Northern Ireland for instance, it is now the norm (despite minimum salary requirements) that trainees work for free and keep quiet about it.

    Desperate people and unscrupulous law firms will always find a way around the law, that's the entire basis of the profession after all.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This article is about the SRA, which only regulated solicitors in England and Wales. Trends in other jurisdictions are interesting but have to relevance to this article.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Instead of trainee solicitors, the new trend is to take on interns. Paid or unpaid. They do the same work. :-/ you can pay interns nominal wage for a year before they start crumbling and have to go to the NHS for treatment of severe depression and exhaustion.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (9)