24 hour helpline:
Did you know that you should remunerate work placement students to national minimum wage or above (unless in sixth form or school) and cover their reasonable expenses? Do you openly advertise and recruit fairly?
Do you enter into a work experience agreement, setting out the length of the placement, hours of work, whether paid/unpaid, reimbursable expenses, the agreed work or learning objectives, health and safety issues, confidentiality and data protection obligations?
Did you know that additional health and safety statutory obligations apply where the student is below the age of 18? Or that students should not be performing billable client work?
The Law Society has prepared Best Practice Guidance: Work Experience Placements, which contains comprehensive guidance on complying with your statutory and regulatory obligations, in particular, those relating to equality and diversity, confidentiality and data protection. In addition to the points above, it recommends you ensure as a minimum that:
The Information Commissioner has also stressed the importance of ensuring that temporary staff, who regularly handle personal information, are adequately trained on data protection.
Action: unfortunately, this is one of those areas in which smaller practices, who may only offer work experience on a casual basis without advertisement (e.g. to children of friends or clients) are effectively more exposed than larger firms, who may have publicised, well-structured schemes. However, those in or carrying out an HR role within their practice should become familiar with this Practice Note and make any necessary changes to comply with your statutory and regulatory obligations, as well as (so far as practicable) the other best practice guidance in it.
Contact your LBS Legal consultant if you require further advice or assistance with any of the documentation relating to this.
Client Relationship Manager
T: 0845 056 3949
M: 0743 727 4046
The Law Society has issued a practice note about the risks to solicitors posed by this new legislation, which came into force on 30 September.
The SRA has urged all practices to check HM Treasury’s consolidated list of asset freeze targets, which lists designated persons subject to financial sanction under EU or UK legislation.
The practising certificate renewal period opened on Monday 2 October.
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