Women solicitors object to national minimum wage
Women will be disproportionately affected by the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s decision to pay trainee solicitors the National Minimum Wage of £6.08 per hour, says the Association of Women Solicitors.
The AWS says two thirds of the current trainees are women, which means they will be disproportionately affected by the SRA’s decision, made ahead of the Legal Education and Training Review.
The AWS says the introduction of the National Minimum Wage means future generations of women solicitors will receive at least 40% less income during their two years of mandatory training.
It says that even the findings of the SRA’s own Equality Impact Assessment points towards maintaining the current minimum salary.
Women and ethnic minorities already make up the majority of current trainees who receive the prevailing SRA regulated minimum salary of £16,650, or £18,590 in London.
AWS Chairwoman Joy Van-Cooten and the AWS Law Society Council member Sarah Austin said today: "Women have achieved so much over the life of our organisation and especially over the last two decades, so we greet the SRA’s announcement with disappointment. We are concerned it will discourage able women away from the profession and the result will be a return to a less diverse profession that will reflect practitioners’ means rather than their merit. This can only devalue the professional reputation of solicitors and the public’s perception of the quality of our service.”