The Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) approached the Law Society with a request to implement new guidance related to retention notice periods.
The JLD is aware that some employers are failing to let their trainees know whether they will be offered a newly qualified position until the last moment, resulting in a number of newly qualified solicitors finding themselves unemployed, without a sufficient notice period to enable them to secure a position elsewhere.
Furthermore, some employers are even unwilling to let their trainees know when they will be in a position to make a decision when asked.
In October 2017 the Law Society agreed to introduce guidance for employers regarding notice periods for the retention of trainee solicitors upon qualification. The Law Society guidance for employers of trainee solicitors states that, as part of good practice:
- no later than 12 weeks prior to a trainee solicitor’s expected admission date, employers should inform the individual of a time at which they can expect to receive their employer’s decision;
- no later than eight weeks prior to a trainee solicitor’s expected admission date, employers should inform the individual of their decision;
- in the event that an employer is unable to provide the information set out in the first two bullet points within the recommended timeframe, the employer should inform the trainee that they are unable to do so and, where possible, provide reasonable information as to why it is not possible at that time.