John Lewis Partnership reports a 13.9% mean gender pay gap

John Lewis Waitrose

John Lewis Partnership has reported a 13.9% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay based on data from April 2017.

The retailer has reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2018.

The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were awarded bonus pay; and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

John Lewis Partnership’s median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 7.8% as at 5 April 2017.

Its mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 5 April 2017 is 30.1%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 41.3%. Over this period, 97% of both male and female employees received a bonus payment.

Less than half (44%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at John Lewis Partnership are women, compared to 58% in the second quartile, 65% in the third quartile and 63% in the lowest pay quartile.

John Lewis Partnership has attributed its gender pay gap to the balance of men and women across different job levels, with more women filling junior, lower-paid positions. The organisation’s analysis shows that 61% of its most junior workforce working in the lowest-paid jobs are women, compared to 40% working in the highest-paid senior leadership roles and 46% employed as specialist or non-senior management. In addition, 75% of employees who work night time shifts, and therefore are paid the corresponding premium, are male.

The organisation’s pay ranges also differ by job function, which further influences its pay gap data. For example, 80% of its personnel function is filled by women, compared to 35% of IT roles. The organisation’s pay-for-performance model has also impacted its gender pay gap figures, because this creates individual pay rates based on an employee’s specific contribution.

The retailer has attributed its bonus gender pay gap to the fact that men worked more hours than women in the year to April 2017, with many part-time roles within the organisation being filled by women. Its bonus scheme is based on an employee’s hourly rate of pay and the number of hours worked. Last year, male employees worked 20% more hours a week than female employees, which influenced average bonus rates.

To mitigate its gender pay gap, John Lewis Partnership will focus on why a smaller proportion of its junior female employees progress into senior leadership roles. To support this goal, the organisation has committed to giving all employees access to new career opportunities, offer interview support and develop its talent forums, provide mentoring and coaching from a bank of 90 accredited internal coaches, highlight its internal employee networks, and promote organisational policies around flexible working and shared parental leave.

It will also develop its attitudes to flexible working, encourage conversations around diversity and inclusion at work, and offer e-learning modules on facing bias and inclusion, which will be mandatory for all line managers. Senior leaders within the business will also participate in national campaigns, such as Retail Week’s Be Inspired, to help improve the representation of women in the retail industry.

In the report, Tracey Killen, director of personnel at John Lewis Partnership, stated: “Even though we are proud of all the activity we undertake in the [organisation], the gender pay gap shown in this report demonstrates that male [employees] receive a higher average pay rate. This is largely through them being underrepresented at our most junior level and overrepresented in the most senior or highly paid roles and functions.

“We welcome the annual requirement to publish gender pay comparisons; it offers an important opportunity to reinforce our existing programme of work, as well as stimulus for fresh initiatives. All our work on diversity and inclusion is designed to enable [employees] to maximise their abilities and contribution. Reporting annually also allows us to measure the progress that our interventions have made, and encourage all of our [employees] to be aware of the contribution they can make to supporting opportunities for themselves and their fellow [employees].

“The gender pay gap calculations covers more than 80,000 [employees] and, across such a large population, the overall figures are unlikely to change significantly in the short term. Rather than focus simply on these headline figures, we will to place our collective energy into the areas that this report shines a light on, to ensure we fulfil our commitment to allowing all [employees] to reach their full potential.”