The findings show that 25% of trainees are being paid below recommended levels compared to 38% at the beginning of 2018.
The change in fortune can be largely attributed to an improvement in regional remuneration where 26% of trainee solicitors are being paid below the recommended minimum salary compared to 41% in 2018.
Moreover, 17% of London based trainee solicitors are being paid below the Law Society recommended minimum salary, down from 20% in 2018 and 25% in 2017.
This research also found that the average number of hours worked per week by trainees has decreased slightly from 43 hours to 42; 17% of respondents said they were working over 48 hours per week compared to 21% a year ago. This is further evidence that conditions for trainee solicitors are improving although London based trainee solicitors still average a 44-hour working week, 2.5 hours more than their peers in the regions.
In March 2018 the Law Society recommended that providers of training contracts should pay their trainees £21,561 in London and £19,122 outside London.
Associate Director, Jon-Paul Hanrahan commented:
‘This is good news, we have been tracking trainee pay awards for some time now and this year does feel different. Law firms have reacted positively to criticism, as our research also revealed that 45% of trainee solicitors received a pay rise this year compared to 35% in 2018 and for many it brought them above the threshold for the first time.”
The full research for 2019 will be published in early February, in the meantime make sure to check out last years’ results here.
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