John Lewis Partnership might not pay staff bonus for first time in 66 years

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John Lewis Partnership may not pay its staff a bonus this year, despite having the funds to do so, as it prepares for continuing turbulence on the high street.

Despite a 1.4% increase in sales over Christmas compared with 2017’s festive period, the employee-owned company said it will need to “carefully consider” whether it should pay its staff a bonus this year.

If it chooses not to pay the bonus, it will be the first time since 1953 it has not done so.

In a trading statement covering the seven weeks to 5 January, John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said it had the funds to pay staff a “modest” bonus this year, but said “the board will need to consider carefully in March… whether payment of a bonus is prudent in the light of business and economic prospects at that time”.

The bonus, usually a percentage of salary, is paid to the 85,000 people employed at John Lewis and Waitrose – known as “partners” – at the end of each financial year.

Last year staff were awarded 5% of their salary – the lowest percentage bonus the company has paid out for a number of years.

Sir Charlie told the BBC that it will make a judgment about “what’s coming and the uncertainty in the market” before deciding whether to pay the bonus.

“This year of course there’s quite a lot of [uncertainty]. So we just have to look at that sensibly,” he said.

“In our business, it’s owned by the people who work in it, we live within our means and we have to take account of what’s coming up even if it’s uncertain and we can’t quite judge it perfectly.”

The company said it had a positive Christmas trading period, thanks to the “extraordinary efforts” of its staff. Black Friday, for example, contributed to the biggest sales week in John Lewis & Partners’ history.

3 Responses to John Lewis Partnership might not pay staff bonus for first time in 66 years

  1. Avatar
    S Churchard 11 Jan 2019 at 9:20 am #

    i feel that if there is no bonus paid at all it will be looked at as a “snub” to all the Partners who have worked their socks off to make the business what it is. Charlie Mayfield has admitted the money is there for a bonus so why not pay it?? Its all the money thats “given away” such as free coffee (which has been abused since day one) and all the charity handouts to name 2 things that need to be looked at after all “charity begins at home”. Also what about the money lost by stock that just walks out the door – I am talking about opening for browsing on a Sunday – I have seen people walk out the shop with goods when the tills can not open until 10am because everything is left unmanned/monitored, also items not scanned properly (or at all) at the SCO instead of having a good staffing level on a manned till – in the long run saving money. I have even alerted Management to the fact – the reply I had was “its only a sandwich/paper/etc”. Look after the Partners before they start abandoning the sinking ship I am not alone in these sentiments as everyone is saying the same, so wake up and look after the people that have looked after you

    • Avatar
      OLIVEIRA 12 Jan 2019 at 6:01 pm #

      I totally agree with what i just read , also another thing we have to put in consideration in Christmas all this money spent on aprons nobody wants to wear them cos they were ridiculously ugly the amount of them went to the bin, more money wasted. Also and as we know well; more products we don’t need are introduced, it’s only wasted money so look at that and more cos that will safe lots of money to the company. So MR CHARLIE MAYFIELD please think twice carefully about our BONUS cos we did work our butts for that money. Also time to look after the people who looked after you ……

  2. Avatar
    Nanna 14 Jan 2020 at 9:04 pm #

    I totally agree, less staff they say, save money they say, do connex, take on extra work, bring the money in, every year is the same yet always an excuse not to give us a bonus. Surely there is enough in the pot to give every partner the same, 1,000 pound each would only amount to 80,000 it’s not millions, it’s not rocket science, look after the workers before there are none left. Spedan set this up not Charlie!! He would of sorted it out for the “people” “partners”!!!

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