Junior Lawyers call for minimum wage consultation delay
The Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) of the Law Society is calling upon the Solicitors Regulation Authority to delay its consultation on scrapping the minimum wage.
The JLD says that the SRA could not have chosen a worse time to consult on scrapping the minimum wage, with the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) still going on, as well as a lack of evidence over the impact removing the minimum wage will have on diversity and social mobility.
Camilla Graham Wood of the JLD executive committee said:
‘The reasons for not consulting on this now far outweigh the reason for doing so, apart from the obvious fact that the economic climate remains unstable, there is also the uncertain matter of what impact alternative business structures will have on trainees and their pay. Add to that the potential fall out from the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill and its impact on young lawyers working in legal aid and it is clear that the timing of this is atrocious.
‘With legal services going through drastic change, removing the minimum wage could be a risk. There is a real danger that without the minimum salary protection in place, those from less affluent backgrounds could be denied entering the profession.
‘At the very least, the SRA should opt for common-sense and await the outcome of the LETR before even contemplating putting a removal of the minimum wage on the agenda.’
The JLD has made a freedom of information request to the SRA on a range of questions concerning the current trainee solicitor pay landscape.
The JLD has issued a “Trainee minimum salary review – call for action” in which it urges the SRA to retain the minimum salary. The JLD states that the majority view amongst junior lawyers is that they disagree with the SRA and think the minimum salary should be retained. The JLD is therefore keen to take forward the views of its members and persuade the SRA that their proposals are unfair and would deter talented lawyers from entering the profession.
Further information can be found on the JLD web site at juniorlawyers.lawsociety.org.uk/minimum-salary-campaign