J D Wetherspoon is regarded as one of the UK’s top employers and has been recognised by the Top Employers Institute as a ‘Top Employer United Kingdom’ for 16 consecutive years, including 2019.
We achieve such accolades, year on year, through our investment in training, policies on equality, competitive remuneration packages and by encouraging all of our employees to participate actively in our business strategy.
Attracting and retaining talent
As at the end of our financial year 2016/17, we employed over 37,000 people across our pubs and hotels, in regional roles and at our head office in Watford, Hertfordshire.
In the Republic of Ireland, 236 people were employed.
We created over 700 new jobs, the majority of which is within the local communities of our pubs across the UK and Ireland. We continue to work with several organisations to offer jobs to the long-term unemployed, ex-military personnel and those with disabilities.
The company does not employ anyone below either 16 years of age or the recognised school-leaving age.
Of our staff, 62.5% were aged 25 years or under; therefore, for many, this is their first experience of working. Numerous people join the company from the NEET (not in employment, education or training) population and can start with limited basic skills and confidence.
Many of our employees have chosen to spend their career with us and progress through the company. The average length of service for a pub manager is now over 11 years – and 26% of hourly paid employees have been with us for over three years.
All staff are directly employed by the company, with the exception of a small number of head-office contractors, involved in specific project work.
Hourly paid staff are employed on a guaranteed-hours contract. Some prefer the flexibility of a contract with no minimum hours. If these contracts are used, there is no sole-employer restriction, no obligation on employees to accept the hours which are offered to them and they receive the same benefits as those on a guaranteed-hours contract.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
J D Wetherspoon is committed to equality of opportunity. We want to create and promote a diverse and inclusive working environment and eliminate any direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation of our employees, job applicants, customers and contractors. We strive to maintain a working environment, terms and conditions of employment and personnel and management practices which ensure that no individual receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of his/her age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity.
The Gender Pay Report 2017 is available – click here.
A ‘Women @ Wetherspoon’ network has been established to support the development of new and existing female managers within the company, especially at a senior level, including a dedicated training and coaching programme.
The breakdown, by gender, across the company is as follows:
- 52% female and 48% male
- senior manager level – 39% female and 61% male
- board level – 37.5% female and 62.5% male
The company does not gather information on the nationality or ethnicity of employees.
The company has been recognised as an Age Positive and Disability Confident employer by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Anti-harassment, sexual harassment or bullying
Harassment is not permitted or condoned in the work environment under any circumstances. Everyone must be treated fairly and is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment, victimisation and bullying. This policy of no harassment applies to colleagues, customers, contractors and visitors.
A copy of our anti-harassment policies for the UK (click here) and Ireland (click here) is available.
We encourage those employees who believe that they are being harassed, under the terms of the policy, to speak up and report such behaviour to their line manager.
Training and career opportunities
The quality and range of our training courses help to motivate our employees and provide them with the necessary skills to carry out their job to a consistently high standard.
The company strives to provide a career, rather than just a job, with those showing promise given the opportunity to progress. The nature of our business means that the company attracts applicants with a range of skills and experience. We offer employees apprenticeships and training programmes throughout their career with the company.
Internal progression is our main source of appointing job roles throughout the company. All pub manager and area manager vacancies are filled by internal candidates.
In 2017, we promoted 596 hourly paid staff to management positions.
In addition, our professional diploma in leisure retail management, run in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University, is offered to all pub managers and head-office management, allowing them to gain a professional qualification, while working for the company.
The apprenticeship programme was launched in January 2018, offering the following qualifications:
- Level 2 Hospitality Team Member
- Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor
- BA (Hons) Degree Apprenticeship in Business Management (level 6 – degree)
Pay and reward
We offer fair and competitive rates of pay and benefits to our staff, including a bonus scheme to all employees.
Pay rates for all employees are above the relevant National Minimum Wage – and all employees aged 18 years or over receive, as a minimum, the National Living Wage as their basic pay (excluding bonus payments and other benefits).
In addition to basic pay, all employees are eligible for the company bonus scheme, paid monthly to pub-based staff and bi-yearly to head-office-based staff.
The average bonus payment for an hourly paid employee was 4.2% and for a pub manager 13.7% (financial year ending July 2017).
All employees with more than 18 months’ service are eligible to join the Share Incentive Plan (SIP) and receive free shares in J D Wetherspoon plc, giving them the opportunity to benefit from the company’s future success. Employees can also choose to purchase additional shares in the company, under the Partnership Shares Scheme.
The company awarded bonuses and shares (SIPs) for employees of £43.7 million in the year, an increase of 32.4% (2015/2016: £33.0 million). Of all employees, 87% received a bonus, with 96% of all bonus payments paid to employees below board level.
All employees also receive a staff discount which may be used on and off duty, across our pubs and hotels.
Employees may retain any tips which they receive. The company does not impose any management charges.
All employees are encouraged to participate actively in the business strategy, including:
- a ‘Tell Tim’ suggestion scheme for all employees.
- pub managers, area managers and other pub employees attending and contributing to weekly operations meetings, hosted by the chairman or chief executive.
- regular liaison meetings with employees, at all levels, to gain feedback on aspects of the business and ideas for improvements.
- directors and senior management completing regular visits to pubs – and pub employees visiting head office.
- a weekly e-mail from the chief executive to all employees.
- an intranet solely for use by employees.
While some employees are members of a union (and/or representative body), the company does not recognise any union for the purposes of collective bargaining.
The company respects employees’ rights to freedom of association.
We support the well-being of our employees on a wide range of health issues, including those raised at the recruitment stage. Wetherspoon seeks to make necessary adjustments reasonably required to help our employees to maintain employment and to ensure that they are not harmed by their work.
The company is committed, at all times, to supporting positive mental health in the workplace and assisting our employees, wherever possible, with mental health problems. Our aim is always to encourage positive mental well-being and health in the workplace (and outside of work) – an important part of the company’s commitment to being a top employer.
We have established a Welfare Committee which meets weekly to review any requests from employees for additional financial, pastoral or occupational health support.
We offer a range of flexible working arrangements and hours to support employees in different stages of their career and life.