Bonuses worth 6 weeks pay will be paid out in the city’s successful branches, but falling profits overall mean its the lowest payout in twelve years..
Staff employed by the John Lewis Partnership, which also owns supermarket chain Waitrose, have been treated to their annual bonus.
The scheme, which grants all full-time employees shares in the company, pays dividends every March and is the largest of its kind in the UK. In total the bonuses across the company will amount to £156.2 million.
“It makes me feel valued by the company” – Niamh Dunne-Mason, Waitrose staff member
A generous incentive
Niamh Dunne-Mason, who works in the Waitrose Trinity Square store, received her bonus for the first time this year. Working at a basic rate of £6.90 per hour, employees like Niamh can look forward to a £1500 tax free payout. “I think I’m going to have to treat myself to some shoes, but then the rest is going towards my driving insurance.”
“I know lots of people in a similar role to me get paid less per hour, and are never offered this sort of reward. I feel very lucky. It makes me feel valued by the company, and it encourages you to work hard for yourself and your colleagues.”
But the 11% bonus is the lowest dividend awarded by the partnership in 12 years. This is down to falling profits in its supermarket stores. Waitrose, often regarded as a more up-market brand, has had to slash prices to remain competitive in a market where budget stores such as Aldi and Lidl have seen huge growth.
The John Lewis Partnership has a large footprint in Nottingham, with the iconic city centre store one of the busiest in the country, as well as a large distribution centre in Arnold.
The ‘Little’ Waitrose store in Trinity Square is the only branch in the city, yet it has bucked the nationwide trend and exceeded forecasts along with the main Department store in the Victoria Centre. Their success has led to several other sites throughout Nottinghamshire being targeted for new stores.
Better Buisness Together
The pay-out is seen as a great success for the Employee Ownership Association, which has been championed by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne since 2012.
He has encouraged more start-up businesses to embrace the scheme, being mutually beneficial for owners, employees and the economy. The Conservative party has pledged to continue this focus if elected in the upcoming election.