John Lewis & Partners

The John Lewis Partnership is a visionary and successful way of doing business, boldly putting the happiness of Partners at the centre of everything it does. It’s the embodiment of an ideal, the outcome of nearly a century of endeavour to create a different sort of company, owned by Partners dedicated to serving customers with flair and fairness.

Company Overview

All our permanent staff are Partners who co-own 50 John Lewis & Partners shops across the UK (36 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2), 348 Waitrose & Partners supermarkets, www.waitrose.com, www.johnlewis.com, a large distribution network and a farm. In addition, all Partners have access to five Partnership hotels, a golf course, holiday lodges and a campsite.

The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. Partners share in the benefits and profits of a business that puts them first.

When our founder, John Spedan Lewis, set up the Partnership, he was careful to create a governance system, set out in our Constitution, that would be both commercial – allowing us to move quickly to stay ahead in a competitive industry – and democratic; giving every Partner a voice in the business they co-own. His combination of commercial acumen and corporate conscience, so ahead of its time, is what makes us what we are today.

Our Partners will tell you that the John Lewis Partnership is a very special place to work. We believe our distinctive culture – our spirit – lies at the heart of this.

Putting you first

Employing working mothers who fully support our Partnership’s Principles, we base our relationships on mutual respect and courtesy, and encourage as much equality as differences of responsibility will allow. We’ll recognise your contribution and reward it fairly, whatever your working hours, location or job level.

Because your ambitions change as you do, we let you drive your own career progress. The development tools and support are here when we want them. Our Horizons programme is multi-channelled because everyone learns in different ways – the more flexible it is, the more you’ll want to use it.

Regarding flexibility, there are plenty of Partners who have joined us in one role, then used our development tools to change direction, ascend the career ladder, take a break and return to a more flexible role that lets them balance their lifestyle. Increasing your hours or securing that next promotion can then be done at a pace that feels right for you.

Benefits

Our annual bonus is famous: we distribute a proportion of our profits equally among us as a percentage of salary.

But this is only part of it. We have always believed that there should be more to a job than just work and play so we have the large company benefits you’d expect: paid holidays, pension, childcare vouchers, life assurance and discounts on shopping at John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. But there are others that make us really stand out from the crowd:

Partnership holiday centres – We own an exclusive selection of hotels, lodges and caravans. Some are set in the most beautiful places and all are subsidised, making them amazing value. Gorge walking, archery, whitewater rafting, seaside fun in your own castle, relaxed country club breaks, self-catering, exploring national parks or just doing whatever takes your fancy, there’s something for you and for loved ones.

Leisure events – We subsidise special events that bring Partners together. These include:

  • Family Fun Days
  • Football Tournaments
  • Theme Park Take-Over days
  • Music Festivals and Gig tickets
  • Major Sporting Events

So whether you want to thrill the family at Thorpe Park, enjoy a VIP weekend in a 4 star hotel or join in the fun at a country fair, there’s something for you:

Partner choice – A plethora of specially negotiated discounts and offers for Partners and their families – with everything from discounts on gym membership to hotel stays, restaurants, cinema tickets and health plans.

Corporate membership – We’re corporate members of organisations such as The National Trust for Scotland, English Heritage and the Historic Royal Palaces, so you and your family can enjoy discounted or even free entry.

Leisure learning – Thinking of signing up for some aerobics sessions, spending a term brushing up on your Spanish or taking windsurfing lessons in Greece? You can claim half the cost of your chosen leisure course, up to £250 a year.

John Lewis Partnership have a number of employee networks:

The Working Parents Network:

the purpose of which is to support individual working parents at every stage of the parenting journey and influence and inspire the organisation in the way the business can support working parents more effectively.

UNITY:

The Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic network of the John Lewis Partnership

In summary, UNITY, like other John Lewis Partnership Networks will aspire to:

  • Enhance a Sense of Belonging Amongst Partners
  • Share Experience
  • Challenge Thinking
  • Connect Partners
  • Unite Partners (providing a united voice to influence)
  • Contribute to a Successful Business.

Our vision for UNITY is to support the Partnership with recognising, valuing and unlocking the potential of B.A.M.E. Partners (Partners from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Groups) in our Business.

Our purpose of UNITY is to build a network within which B.A.M.E Partners can gain confidence, create opportunities to share experience, find a forum to be heard, and feel a sense of belonging with fun and friendship.

Pride In The Partnership:

(PiPs) The LGBT + Network of the John Lewis Partnership
Pride in the Partnership (PiPS) is the Partnership’s official lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) Network.
Membership is open to all Partners and contracted staff working across our business, and the aim is to:

  • provide a support, professional & social space where Partners from across the business can meet and connect through shared experiences, and access resources to promote their personal and professional growth.
  • promote inclusivity and diversity within and beyond our Partnership community.
  • enable a forum through which Partners can voice opinions & ideas and nurture diversity of perspective, identifying cultural and commercial opportunities for the growth of our business.

PiPS was initiated by Partners for Partners.

The Partnership is a member of Stonewall, and is actively supporting the development of PiPS as part of its commitment to fostering an inclusive and vibrant community within and beyond our business.

We want to ensure that all Partners know we are here for them, whether they are looking for the confidence to grow in their job, someone to talk to in confidence, professional networking, a forum to be heard, or for fun and friendship. PiPS is working closely with Partner Support and its teams across all regional centres.

 

Case Study:

Louisa Hazlehurst is a mother of three and a Recruitment Co-ordinator at John Lewis Sheffield, where she works part time on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

I was lucky to become an ‘acquired’ Partner when Waitrose bought Safeway in 2004, and I stayed on as a part timer. In 2007, I went on maternity leave to have my third child and when I returned nine months later, I started a new role at John Lewis Sheffield. I worked weekends in Gift List and now I work three full days in Personnel. I know, from speaking to friends with young children, that finding a fulfilling part-time job – especially one that develops your career – is rare. I’m lucky to have been offered hours that give me a perfect work/life balance. Even if I’m asked to work late, I’ll be given plenty of notice. What has become apparent in my role as a Recruitment Co-ordinator is just how important part-time workers are to the business. When we recruited our Christmas temps we had a lot of part-time applicants who wanted to work weekends and late nights – which can be difficult to cover – so they’re very valuable.

 

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Kay Lane is an accountant when she’s not a Food Service Partner at Waitrose Witney. She works part time for the Partnership on alternate Saturdays and Sundays.

I originally started at Waitrose as a trainee straight from school and worked my way up the ladder. After having my two children I returned to Waitrose part time in the evening. When I decided to study for an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification, Waitrose was very flexible, allowing me to change my hours to suit my course. I then got offered a full-time job in accountancy but told them I didn’t want to leave Waitrose! So the firm took me on four days a week, meaning I could work alternate weekends at Waitrose and still have a day off in the week. I really love the flexibility of my various roles: the accuracy of accountancy and my lovely customers at Waitrose who tell me I can’t possibly leave! The discount card and all the other benefits make it worthwhile and I pay all my Waitrose wages into my pension fund. It’s the perfect work/work balance and I’m doing all the things that make me happy.

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