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Our People

We aim to be a highly regarded employer, 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

We employ over 35,000 people across our pubs, in regional roles and at our head office in Watford, Hertfordshire. 
We created over 2,000 new jobs in 2014/15, the majority of which is in the local community of the pub, and continue to work with several organisations to offer jobs to the long-term unemployed, ex-military personnel and those with disabilities.

Of our staff, 62% are aged 25 years or under. For many, this is their first experience of working. Many join the company from the NEET population (not in employment, education or training) and can start with limited basic skills and confidence.

Many 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 10.5 years, with 18% of associates with us for over three years.

Employee turnover remains at an historic low.

The majority of hourly paid staff is employed on contracts with no minimum guarantee of hours each week. There is no sole-employer restriction and no implied obligation on employees to accept the hours offered to them. Guaranteed-hours contracts are provided to supervisory staff and are available, on request, to all hourly paid employees.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to providing equality of opportunity and to the elimination of any direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation of employees, job applicants, customers and contractors.

A Women@Wetherspoon support network has been established to support the development of female managers across the company, including a dedicated training programme and coaching support. 

The breakdown in our workforce, by gender, across the company is as follows: 52% female and 48% male.

At a senior manager level: 41% female and 59% male.  At board level: 37.5% female and 62.5% male.

The company has been recognised as an Age Positive employer, by the Department for Work and Pensions. It has also been recognised by the Corporate Research Foundation, in association with The Guardian newspaper, as a Top Employer United Kingdom, for 13 consecutive years, including 2016.

Training and career opportunities

The quality and volume of our training courses help to create motivation and to provide employees with the necessary skills to carry out their jobs to a consistently high standard. We pride ourselves in providing careers, rather than just jobs, and anyone showing promise is given the opportunity to progress. The nature of our business means that the company attracts applicants with a range of skills and previous experience. We offer a range of induction and training programmes to employees throughout their career with the company, including on-job training, off-job training academies and e-learning via a dedicated employee website.

In addition, the company carried out approximately 14 days’ preopening training for each new pub and has a formal one-day induction programme for all new bar and kitchen staff.

Internal progression is our main source of appointing job roles throughout the company. All pub manager and area manager vacancies are filled internally.

In 2014, we created 468 new 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 area managers, allowing them to gain a professional qualification, while working.

Pay and reward

We aim to offer competitive and fair pay rates and benefits and offer a bonus scheme to all employees.

Pay rates are above the national minimum wage, with 17% of pub-based employees paid on or above the ‘living wage’ (based on their basic pay only, excluding bonus payments and other benefits).
In addition to basic pay, all employees are immediately eligible for the company bonus scheme, paid monthly to pub-based staff.

The average bonus payment for an associate was 3.9% and 11.6% for a pub manager.  All employees with more than 18 months’ service are eligible to join the Share Incentive Plan and receive free shares in the company, giving them the opportunity to share in our future success.

The company awarded bonuses and shares (SIPs) for employees of £30.7 million in the year (2014: £29.2 million), an increase of 5.2%. Of the payments, 97% were made to employees below board level, with approximately 81.5% of payments made to employees working in our pubs.

All employees also receive a staff discount in our pubs and hotels, on and off duty, and are able to join our company health plan and pension plans, as well as obtain tax-efficient childcare vouchers.

Employee well-being

We support the well-being of our employees on a wide range of health issues, including those raised at recruitment, and on any necessary adjustments to help them to maintain employment and to ensure that our employees are not harmed by their work.

We have established a welfare committee which meets weekly to review any requests from employees for additional financial, pastoral or occupational health support.

We have reduced the working week for all pub management to 45 hours, including all paid breaks.

We offer a range of flexible working arrangements and hours to support employees in different stages of their career or life, including sabbatical leave and school-holiday leave.

Top Employers United Kingdom 2016 (13th consecutive year)