The minimum salary for trainee solicitors recommended by the Law Society has risen by 1.1% to £20,217 outside London and £22,794 in the capital.
Announcing the recommendation, Law Society president David Greene said nobody should face unnecessary financial barriers to entering the profession and urged all firms to pay at least the minimum. 'We appreciate that during the Covid-19 pandemic some firms are facing pay freezes,' he said. 'However, this is a recommended minimum salary – increased in line with inflation as trainees will face increases to their cost of living. Many trainees, some of whom only get paid the recommended minimum, have been furloughed this year and are therefore already financially worse off.'
The recommended minimum salary, introduced by the Law Society in 2015 after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) ended the regulatory requirement for firms to pay a minimum salary above the minimum wage, is updated annually.
The new rate comes into effect on 1 May. Based on previous guidance, employers are encouraged to implement the increase as soon as they can, on or after this date, and at least within six months.
Junior Lawyers Division chair Manda Banerji said: 'Since the SRA’s decision in 2014 to no longer mandate a minimum salary for trainee solicitors, the JLD is concerned that some trainee solicitors are not being paid a fair rate. We are pleased to have the Law Society’s support on such an important issue and hope that having a recommended minimum salary helps improve social mobility in the profession.'
Recent surveys show that over a fifth of trainees are currently paid below the recommended minimum, she said.