John Lewis Partnership launches raft of family-friendly policies

John Lewis Partnership has announced a raft of new family-friendly commitments, in a bid to improve inclusion, including equal parenthood paid leave for any of its employees.

The parent company of Waitrose also confirmed it will offer any staff members two weeks of paid leave if they experience the loss of a pregnancy.

From the autumn, all employees who have been with the retailer for a year will be offered 26 weeks of paid leave when they have the baby.

It will also offer 14 weeks at full pay and 12 weeks at 50 per cent of their contractual pay, regardless of how they became a parent.

READ MORE: Waitrose pledges to reduce plastic waste in own-label products

The policies, alongside the start of a pilot programme to provide career help for young people leaving the care system, in partnership with Essex County Council, is part of a new package of support for staff across the partnership.

“Equality is a founding principle of the partnership, which was formed almost 100 years ago and supported through our unique employee-owned business structure and written constitution,” the retail giant said in a statement.

“These new commitments are a stride forward in redefining our responsibility to this principle and what it means to our partners in today’s society.”

The partnership also added that it was creating an Inclusion Committee, which will launch in summer and feature staff and external advisers who have strong diversity and inclusion experience.

It also revealed that all job vacancies would now be advertised with a flexible working option unless there is an operational reason why this is not possible.

A “blended” working approach for office-based staff will begin later this month.

Regarding diversity and citing the work of its internal Black Partner Advisory Group over the last 12 months, John Lewis Partnership said it would now expand its reverse mentoring scheme, where ethnic minority staff from across the business mentor senior leaders.

“As an employee-owned business, equality matters to us. We want John Lewis and Waitrose to be a place for everyone and for people from all walks of life to feel valued so they can thrive in our business,” John Lewis Partnership chairman Sharon White said.

“We want to be there for our Partners to support them in important life moments, whether that’s stepping into the world of work for the first time, or becoming a parent.”

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