The chairman of the John Lewis Partnership will go without a pay rise for two years running as the retailer focuses on “strengthening the balance sheet and maintaining investment for the future”.
Sir Charlie Mayfield was paid £1.4m last year and opted against a pay rise for 2017/18.
His annual basic rate of pay for 2018/19 will be £1.108m, down from £1.109m in 2017/18, but up from £1.103m in 2016/17, as a result of the timing of his pay rise in that financial year.
In the retailer’s annual report, Mayfield said the John Lewis Partnership was facing challenges from political and economic uncertainty, societal changes and increased competition: “We are seeing many changes in retail, together with economic, societal and political uncertainty.
“This has led to a continuation of tough market trading conditions in 2017/18. Against this backdrop, we have taken decisions to make a number of changes across the partnership, some of which are difficult but necessary. This is to ensure we are always focusing on tomorrow and the partnership’s future.”
The employee-owned company announced in March that bonuses for 84,000 staff members at John Lewis and Waitrose were cut for the fifth year in a row to 5%, down from 6% the year before and the lowest paid since 1954.
The Times has reported that a key council of employees at the John Lewis Partnership has held its first secret ballot in more than a decade to gauge support for Mayfield’s leadership. In the vote, just less than two-thirds of the council backed a proposal to support the chairman’s “leadership and the continuing progress of the partnership”.