You heard it here first, a full hour before any other publication, and it’s now been confirmed that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has scrapped the minimum wage for trainee solicitors.
The good news for current LPC students is that, firstly, the change won’t come into force until August 2014, and, secondly, trainees will still receive the national minimum wage of £6.08 an hour. Trainees will NOT be re-classified as apprentices and so the fears that they could earn just £2.60 an hour have proved unfounded.
I attended the SRA meeting at which the rule change was agreed this afternoon, and it was difficult to argue with the logic of the regulator’s board members – several of whom had clearly agonised hard over the decision.
In the end, it boiled down to four key points.
The minimum trainee salary debate is developing into quite a fight – with the latest blow landed yesterday by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) when it released findings claiming that 70% of law firms which don't hire trainees would "seriously consider" doing so if the minimum salary was scrapped.
Upon hearing this, committee members of the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) of the Law Society, which strongly opposes scrapping the minimum salary, hit back immediately via the comment section of Legal Futures.
“I could not have afforded to be paid the minimum trainee wage while I was a trainee because I had rent and loan repayments to come out of my account. Low paid TCs would only deter others like me from pursuing a career in law,” wrote Grace Cowling.
But what does Cowling's leader, JLD chief Hekim Hannan, have to say about the minimum salary debate?
Legal Cheek’s special correspondent Kevin Poulter caught up with him to find out...