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J D Wetherspoon 
About us – Employees’ physical and mental health and well-being
Publishing date: January 2024

Company commitment

We support the well-being of employees on a wide range of physical and mental health issues, including those raised at recruitment stage. Wetherspoon seeks to make reasonably required necessary adjustments to help its employees to maintain employment and to ensure that they are not harmed by their work.

At all times, the company is committed to supporting positive mental health in the workplace and assisting employees, wherever possible, with physical and mental health problems. 

The personnel and audit director is responsible for overall workplace mental health and well-being. 
The people operations director is responsible for day-to-day operational management, including chairing the welfare committee. 

The range of support available to all employees is detailed in the mental health and well-being policy, 
which includes a well-being checklist, a wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) and, through the Licensed Trade Charity, free confidential external counselling.

All line managers, including pub managers and area managers, receive specific mental health first aid training and are able to offer further support and guidance to employees, as required. 

In addition, any employee can apply to the independent welfare committee for additional financial, pastoral and/or occupational health support. All requests are considered and responded to weekly.

Good work and workplace mental health

The Taylor review of Modern Working Practices (2018) recognised, and set out, five principles which underpin the quality of work and support workplace mental health. The company approach to achieving these principals is set out below.  

At the heart of the recommendations is an overarching ambition that all work should be fair and decent and that employers offer opportunities which give individuals realistic scope to develop and progress. 

Pillar 1 – Overall employee satisfaction 
All staff are employed directly by the company, with the exception of a few head-office contractors, involved in specific project work. 

Of hourly paid staff, 97% are employed on a guaranteed-hour contract. A minority of employees prefers the flexibility of a contract with no minimum hours. Where these contracts are used, employees receive exactly the same benefits as those on a guaranteed-hour contract, there is no sole-employer restriction and no obligation on employees to accept those hours offered. 

Pillar 2 – Fair pay 

We aim to offer fair and competitive rates of pay and benefits to staff, including an all-employee  bonus scheme.

Pay rates for all employees are above the relevant national minimum wage and national living wage.

In addition to basic pay, all employees are eligible for a company bonus scheme, paid monthly to pub-based staff and bi-yearly to head-office-based staff.

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, under the partnership shares scheme, to purchase additional shares in the company.  (An equivalent scheme is offered to those employed in the Republic of Ireland.) 

Company sick pay is offered to all employees, after a qualifying period, irrespective of job role. 
All employees are offered a complimentary meal and a drink, when working, irrespective of the length of their shift. All employees also receive a staff discount which may be used on and off duty, across the company’s pubs and hotels.

Employees are entitled to an off-duty employee discount of 20% on all food, drinks and accommodation at Wetherspoon hotels. This discount may be extended to include up to three other people eating or drinking with the employee or staying with the employee at a hotel. 

To reward loyalty, additional paid leave is awarded to all employees on completion of five, 10, 15 and 20 years’ continuous service, with additional shares and company pension contributions awarded to all employees achieving 25 years’ service – and every five years thereafter.

Employees may retain any tips which they receive. The company does not impose any management charges.

Pillar 3 – Participation and progression 
Our range of our training courses helps to motivate employees, providing 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 applicants.

The apprenticeship programme develops knowledge, skills and behaviours, as well as improving English and maths through functional skills training. There are 10 qualifications available:

• Level 2 Housekeeping (equivalent to five GCSEs A*–C [9–4])
• Level 2 Food production (equivalent to five GCSEs A*–C [9–4])
• Level 2 Hospitality team member: Food and beverage (equivalent to five GCSEs A*–C [9–4]) 
• Level 2 Hospitality team member: Licensed retail (equivalent to five GCSEs A*–C [9–4])
• Level 2 Reception (equivalent to five GCSEs A*–C [9–4])
• Level 3 Hospitality supervisor (equivalent to two A levels) 
• Level 3 Senior production chef (equivalent to two A levels) 
• Level 4 Hospitality manager (equivalent to foundation degree) 
• Level 5 Operations/departmental manager (with diploma in higher education)
(in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University) 
• Level 6 Chartered manager degree apprenticeship: Business management practice 
(in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University) 

Pillar 4 – Well-being, safety and security 

Harassment, including sexual 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 antiharassment, antisexual harassment and antibullying applies to colleagues, customers, contractors and visitors.

Pillar 5 – Voice and autonomy  
All employees are encouraged to participate actively in the business strategy, including:

• a ‘Tell Tim’ suggestion scheme for all employees; this generates over 200 ideas a week, all of which are reviewed and responded to by directors. Some of the suggestions received are for new products; others are for small, or sometimes big, improvements to the myriad ways of working; others are just challenging the status quo about any aspect of working for the company.
• a selection of pub managers, area managers and other pub employees being invited to attend and contribute to weekly operations meetings at head office, hosted by the chairman or chief executive. These meetings’ minutes are sent to all pubs, with employees encouraged to add their comments to the discussions and debates.
• employee directors, appointed on a three-year term, who attend board meetings and the annual general meeting (AGM), offering the experience of pub-based employees who are in close contact with customers. 
• 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.
• directors, senior management and area managers working regularly in all areas of the pub operation, including the kitchen, bar and hotels.
• a weekly e-mail from the chief executive, sent to all employees.
• a dedicated website and app for employees:   
• four separate employee network groups (disability, mental health and well-being; LGBTQIA+; race and ethnic diversity; women).  

Mental health and well-being

Flexible working

In addition to the flexible working policy, the company offers a range of flexible working arrangements and hours to support employees in different stages of their career and life, including: 
• adoption
• bereavement 
• domestic abuse
• fertility treatment  
• maternity
• menstruation, perimenopause and menopause
• neurodiversity
• new parents 
• paternity 
• pregnancy loss 

Licensed Trade Charity

The Licensed Trade Charity (LTC) was first established in 1793, ever since when it has been supporting the licensed trade. Its mission is to equip licensed trade workers to be self-reliant and to provide the right guidance to people facing a crisis, by offering practical, emotional and, if necessary, financial support.

The LTC is accessible to all employees, all day every day, by phone and/or online, and provides confidential advice and support in the following areas:

• education
• employment support
• health
• housing
• mental well-being
• money

The charity receives financial support from Wetherspoon. 

Employee network group – Disability, mental health and well-being 

Network groups are inclusive (meaning that they welcome participation from all employees, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex, gender expression or identity) and open to all job roles in the pubs and at head office. 

Details of the groups, their objectives, the meetings and minutes are circulated to all employees.