Democratic vitality

All Partners have a say in how we run the business and this is set out in our Constitution. Democratic vitality is a distinctly strong and embedded everyday culture of advocacy, trust, empowerment and engagement where leaders encourage, listen to and act upon Partner opinion to create a better business.

Partners choose representatives to hold management to account, and their free and independent voice helps influence and bring changes and improvements needed to move the Partnership closer to achieving its goals. We have over 3,200 democratic representatives which are made up of the following:


At a local level, Partners can influence what happens in their part of the business through their local PartnerVoice. Partners and leaders are able to have a conversation and take action to help make their part of the business a better place to work and for customers to visit.


Where decisions can't be made or issues resolved locally, they are escalated to Forum in areas where a Forum exists. Elected representatives take responsibility for working alongside the Responsible Managers to understand and resolve common operational and business issues.

Divisional Councils

Elected Councillors form Divisional Councils in Waitrose and John Lewis. Four times a year, the respective Divisional Management Boards meet with their respective Councillors to discuss strategic decisions affecting their business and the Partner experience.

Partnership Council

The Council holds the Chairman to account for achieving Principle 1 by acting as the focus of public opinion in the Partnership. The Partnership Council has three key roles: to hold the Chairman to account, to make some key governance decisions, and to influence policy.

Find out more about Partnership Council