Trainee minimum wage threatened

The Law Society is proposing to scrap the minimum salary requirement for trainees, it emerged last week.

The Law Society is proposing to scrap the minimum salary requirement for trainees, it emerged last week.

Trainees are currently paid a minimum of £15,900 a year in Central London and £14,200 elsewhere under a scheme introduced just two years ago.

However, the Training Framework Review consultation paper, published on 4 April, says that under new proposals this requirement will be abolished.

The consultation paper says: “It is not proposed that the Law Society should set a minimum salary for trainees in the future. However, trainees employed in legal practice would have to be paid at least the national minimum wage.”

The minimum wage is £4.85 an hour. It will be raised to £5.05 in October 2006.

There has been no mention on the subject of the salary paid to trainees in either of the previous consultation papers published by the Law Society.

Nigel Savage, chief exec-utive of the College of Law, said: “It’s another example of the Law Society making policy on the hoof.”

Janet Paraskeva, chief executive of the Law Society, said: “We’re asking for the profession’s views on this issue. We’re open to hear whether people think that greater flexibility in the way that employers put together pay and benefit packages would be a good thing.

“Most firms currently pay above the recommended minimum starting salary, and any decision to do away with the requirement might in reality have little impact on salaries paid.”