Bonuses are back. That is the firm message of the boss of one of the largest recruiters in the country.
Victoria Short, CEO of recruiter Randstad UK, told City A.M. this morning that “bonuses are back – and not just for bankers. “
Her comments follow the announcement that staff at the John Lewis Partnership will share a £46m bonus pot after the retail giant saw underlying annual profits rebound by 38 per cent.
The group, which also owns upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose, said it will pay a bonus of 3 per cent to its employees, or one-and-a-half weeks’ pay, and increase wages by 2 per cent on top of its pledge to pay the real living wage.
It marks the return of payouts after it was forced to scrap last year’s staff bonus for the first time since 1953.
John Lewis is not the only company feeling generous.
“A few months ago Amazon started offering warehouse staff a £50 weekly bonus for turning up on time, and recently we have seen lawyers Freshfields paying BONUS bonuses,” Short said, adding “this is different. ”
Moreover, “JPL is, effectively, paying staff a retention bonus. That’s becoming a more important tool in the armoury of employers in a labour market that’s running white hot.”
“Until now, we haven’t seen this in sectors that employ millions – industries like engineering, construction – which provides a living for 3m people in the UK – and retail,” Short continued.
JLP’s move reflects not only the improving health of the organisation, but also its need to keep good people on board when other blue-chip employers are fighting hard to get hold of the best talent, she added.
“The ‘Great Recession’ is taking its toll on many big employers – John Lewis is no exception,” Short concluded.