Minimum wage stays to delight of trainees

TRAINEE solicitors have won their battle to maintain the minimum salary for trainees after a decisive Law Society vote in its favour.

Training committee chair Roger Jones last week told members of the Law Society's Council of significant support for the salary by his committee.

A vote on keeping the wage, which the Trainee Solicitors' Group (TSG) supports as a vital lifeline for poorer trainees and those from ethnic minority backgrounds, was carried by 10 votes to four.

Earlier this year, Jones identified a growth in support for the salary's abolition both in the profession as well as among trainee hopefuls from ethnic minority groups.

But a TSG decision to

reverse plans that would call for a rise in the salary, along with a survey of ethnic minority lawyers which showed an overwhelming level of support for the financial safety net, appears to have influenced the committee in its favour.

Reporting to council members, Jones acknowledged that the salary had now become an issue in the society's presidential election.

But he also commented: “The training committee is much clearer than it was two years ago about the needs of retaining the minimum salary.”

TSG chair Richard Moorhead says he is “heartened” by the committee's support and he now calls on the council's presidential candidate Henry Hodge to back down over his recent calls for the wage's abolition.