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Information For Masters Of Trainee Solicitors Attending The IPLS

INFORMATION FOR MASTERS and SECOND YEAR TRAINEES ON COMPLETION OF APPRENTICESHIP

The Society is looking to support Masters and Trainees to ensure that where possible Second Year Trainees are able to complete their training within their current two-year period of apprenticeship to enable to apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors from 2 September 2020 onwards in accordance with usual procedure.

However, Second Year Trainees are reminded that completion of the apprenticeship is just one element of the eligibility requirements for admission. Second Year Trainees will need to complete and pass the Solicitors Accounts’ Course which will be delivered before September 2020. Trainees are also required to have passed all exams, submitted affidavits regarding their apprenticeship, be signed off by their Master, met the character and fitness requirement, and have generally complied with the regulations.

Second Year Trainee solicitors, whether on “temporary furlough” or not, need to have access to training between now and the end of their apprenticeship.  This will include private study by the Trainee. The Society is looking to make available additional materials to assist Masters and Trainees

REMOTE TRAINING

Where trainees are not in the office, training may be delivered remotely, provided adequate supervision is in place through the firm or training organisation eg daily calls, or regular email check-ins. Masters are still required to complete an affidavit of Master at the end of the apprenticeship. Given the current circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, where training is being delivered and supervised remotely and where the Master is satisfied with the progress of the apprentice and prepared to complete an affidavit of Master, the fact that training is being delivered remotely will not of itself mean that an extension of apprenticeship is required.

“TEMPORARY FURLOUGH”

Where firms do place trainees on “temporary furlough”, they should have regard to the current government guidance regarding the scheme generally and what training which can be undertaken during a period of furlough: “A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation.”

However, “If workers are required to for example, complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW [National Living wage/ National Minimum Wage] for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised”.  If Masters do put trainees on furlough the Society expects Masters to continue with training albeit reduced during this period.

Masters are still required to complete an affidavit of Master at the end of apprenticeship.

Given the current circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, provided there is evidence of a level of training acceptable to the Society while on being on “temporary furlough” and provided the Master is satisfied with the progress of the apprentice and prepared to complete an affidavit of Master at the end of the apprenticeship, a “temporary furlough” will not of itself mean that an extension of apprenticeship is required.

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