Around 94,000 John Lewis Partnership employees are to share a bonus payout of £156.2 million.
It is the second year in a row that staff at the retail giant, which is owned by employees of John Lewis and Waitrose, have seen the payout reduce.
Employees will receive a bonus of 11% of their average salary, equivalent to 6 weeks’ pay, compared to 15% in 2014 when employees shared a bonus of £202.5 million. In 2013, staff received a 17% bonus payout.
This year, no employee will pay tax on their bonus up to £3,600 due to new legislation.
The organisation’s bonus plan was set out in its annual report Results for the 53 weeks ended 31 January 2015.
This also showed that the partnership invested £773 million in benefits in 2014. This includes the bonus, pensions, staff discount, catering subsidy, long-service leave, leisure spending and the running of its five holiday centres.
It also reported that the organisation’s defined benefit (DB) pension deficit increased by 24.5% to slightly more than £1.24 billion, a rise of £245.9 million.
This final proposal, following a two-year review of its scheme, was approved by the Partnership Council.
It also took the decision to take all paid overtime into account when calculating holiday pay for employees for holiday taken from 1 November 2014. This recorded a £47.3 million cost.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The Partnership achieved a strong sales performance with increased market share in both Waitrose and John Lewis, and customer numbers up by 6% and 4% respectively.
“Our 93,800 [employees] will receive a bonus of 11%, equivalent to nearly 6 weeks’ pay.
“And for the first time in 15 years, thanks to the new legislation that puts employee ownership on a similar footing to other forms of ownership, no [employee] will pay tax on their bonus up to £3,600.
Our [employees], as co-owners, each receive the same percentage of pay as Partnership Bonus, which flexes from year to year reflecting the performance of our business.
“[Employees] also continue to benefit from a number of other benefits. In total, we have invested £773 million in benefits to our [employees], including Partnershipb onus, pensions, [employee] discount, catering subsidy, long service leave, leisure spending and the running of our five holiday centres.
“Last year, following a review of the Partnership’s holiday pay policy, an exceptional cost of £47.3 million was recorded. This year, following a reassessment of the total costs that were recognised, we have released remaining liabilities as exceptional income of £7.9 million.”