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people development


People development

We provide opportunities for our people to enhance their job performance and develop their careers.

Wesfarmers businesses provide employment to approximately one in 59 working Australians. We distribute 59 per cent of the wealth we create in salaries, wages and benefits to our employees.  The quality of our people is our greatest competitive advantage and providing them with opportunities to improve their performance and their careers is key to our success.

Our employees

As at June 2015, we employed approximately 205,000 people, which makes Wesfarmers Australia's largest private-sector employer. Of these, approximately 130,000 are permanent and 75,000 are casual. In addition to our employees, our divisions engage contractors in a range of roles. There are also seasonal variations in employment numbers, with a peak throughout the Christmas/summer period in line with the broader retail industry.

This year, we employed 52,179 new people across the Group, in a range of permanent, part-time and casual roles.  Our voluntary turnover rate across the Group was 17 per cent.

This year we have had a net decrease in our employee numbers of approximately 2,300 people. This decrease is due

to the sale of our Insurance business at the end of the previous reporting period, which employed approximately 4,000 people and redundancies as a result of restructures in some divisions.  The decrease was partially offset by growth in some of our other businesses and the acquisition of the Workwear Group.

Where headcount reductions are necessary, our divisions seek redeployment opportunities and where this is unsuccessful, they offer redundancy packages and outplacement services to affected employees.  We pay at least minimum wage in all locations in Australia as required by law and in no areas of operation does minimum wage vary by gender.

Where we are

Our people are mostly located in Australia.



Training and development

Each division provides a wide range of training and development in job-specific technical aspects as well as generic skills, such as customer service, teamwork and leadership. 

Wesfarmers provides executive development and orientation to ensure leaders understand and are developed in the key elements of the Wesfarmers culture. For example, Wesfarmers runs a New Executive Orientation program for new general managers and an Executive Development Program for future potential executives across the Group.  Participants benefit from development opportunities, including stretch assignments, action learning projects, coaching, mentoring and 360 degree feedback.

At least annually, the Group Managing Director meets with each division to review senior leader performance and development, succession plans for critical roles and the pipeline of high-potential leaders.  Particular focus is placed on ensuring that this pipeline reflects the diversity of our workforce.

Workplace relations

More than 85 per cent of our workforce is covered by collective agreements. We recognise the right of those we employ to negotiate either individually or collectively, with or without the involvement of third parties. Collective agreements typically include provisions for notice periods and provisions for consultation and negotiation. We also believe in maximising the flexibility of workplace arrangements available to our employees and their managers.

GRI Reference: G4-9, G4-10, G4-11, EN-27, G4-DMA (Market Presence), G4-EC5, G4-LA1, G4-LA4, G4-LA10, G4-DMA (Employment), G4-DMA (Labor/Management relations), G4-DMA (Training and education)