The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is scrapping its trainee solicitor minimum pay in favour of the main rate in the National Minimum Wage.
The partial deregulation was agreed unanimously today (16 May 2012) by the SRA board, where it was confirmed that the change to a minimum of £6.08 per hour will be deferred for two years to reduce the impact on those already completing training contracts.
In a statement SRA executive director Samantha Barrass said: “This decision was based on an objective consideration of very full and detailed evidence gathered through a variety of sources.”
The news comes despite several concerns arising from the profession in response to the five-month consultation.
The JLD called for the consultation to be delayed until the conclusion of the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) (19 March 2012).
Meanwhile, the Law Society reacted badly to the news that trainees could be reclassed as apprentices, claiming that trainees needing to take on second jobs and seek housing benefit ‘is not the type of image that benefits the profession (12 April 2012).
The minimum salary is currently set at £16,650, rising to £18,590 for Central London. However the SRA currently recommends that trainees in London and elsewhere in England and Wales should be paid £19,040 and £16,940 respectively.
The changes will come into effect in August 2014.