The John Lewis Partnership is facing further backlash from its employees for the second time in just one month. This time, the controversy revolves around the payment of bonuses to senior team members while the retailer is announcing redundancies. Earlier in the month, workers expressed their dissatisfaction with low wages and the suspension of the annual worker bonus.

It has been revealed that last year, John Lewis made nearly 4,000 “special contribution awards,” including 16 managers, among its 79,000-strong workforce. These awards, which have been in place for a decade, are capped at 10% of salary and are given for “exceptional service.” However, last year marked the first time since 1953 that the wider partnership bonus was not paid.

The Financial Times reported that over 1,000 comments about these bonuses have been posted on the company’s intranet. Some employees pointed out that hourly-paid workers, who often have public-facing roles, worked on the front lines during the height of the pandemic, while managers were more likely to work from home.

In response to the backlash, John Lewis clarified that the average award for the 16 senior managers was £12,281, not the rumored £20,000, and stated that the majority of payments went to front-line staff. Nikki Humphrey, the executive director for people at John Lewis Partnership, addressed the issue in a video and announced that it would be discussed at a meeting of the partnership council.

Chair of John Lewis, Sharon White, has pledged to reinstate the partnership bonus once the company’s profits exceed £200 million and its debt has been reduced.

This latest controversy only adds to the growing tensions within the John Lewis Partnership. The company has been facing challenges within the retail industry, with the pandemic worsening existing difficulties. As employees continue to voice their concerns and frustrations, the management team will need to find effective ways to address these issues and rebuild trust within the organization.

Useful links:
– [John Lewis Partnership website](
– [Financial Times article on John Lewis Partnership bonuses](