John Lewis Partnership bonus 2016: Four charts showing just how generous it is and why staff are still celebrating despite it being cut to its lowest in years

Lynsey Barber
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More than 91,000 partners at John Lewis and Waitrose will be celebrating

The bonus of staff working at high street favourite John Lewis and Waitrose is less than last year, but you'll still find them cheering that cut.

They'll be taking home 10 per cent of their annual salary, amounting to a bonus pot totaling £145m, but that's less than last year and the third consecutive year it's been cut - so why the happy faces?

That 10 per cent pay out is, in fact, the lowest ever payout, falling one percentage point from last year and from a high of 18 per cent back in 2010.

Percentage pay out

That's a less severe fall than the previous year, however. The total value of that £145m pot fell seven per cent, versus a 23 per cent decline last year.

Yearly change

And it still remains one of the most generous bonuses out there, well ahead of most people's. According to the latest ONS figures, on average, British workers are landing six per cent of their annual salary as a bonus payout.

How the John Lewis and Waitrose bonus compares to most

Although, it's still not quite as generous as the City, where those in finance and insurance land 20 per cent of their salary.

How the John Lewis and Waitrose bonus compares to the City

At the equivalent of five weeks salary, that's why you'll find workers at John Lewis still celebrating their lowest bonus payout in years.


John Lewis has shared the figures for its payout stretching all the way back to 1918 with City A.M.. Yep, that's nearly a centuries-worth of information about how generous that bonus is.

Up until 1929, that bonus was in the form of share promises. After that, it was in the form of actual shares well into the 1960s, when it became a mix of stocks and cash. Since 1970, it's been an all cash bonus.

The figures reveal how the bonus was largely zero during the war, and the years following, as the country recovered. There were, in fact, 17 years where no bonus was paid, also including several in the 1920s too.

The biggest bonus ever given out 24 per cent. That's been handed out three times over the years, in 1979, 1987 and 1988. Meanwhile the average across the years is 11.7 per cent.

Here's a, er, bonus fifth chart, showing the John Lewis bonus through time.

A history of John Lewis bonuses

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