This area of our website offers information about some of the things we do as a responsible business. Find out more about working for Nationwide on our careers site (opens in a new window).

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Living Wage

At Nationwide, we’re proud to take a leading role in the campaign for fairer pay. As a mutual, championing the campaign for real Living Wages is important to us.

The real Living Wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation (opens in new window)  each year, is an independently calculated rate that ensures workers can meet the cost of living. It’s higher than the Government’s national living wage, which is based on a percentage of median earnings, rather than on actual living costs.

Families often face impossible choices between food, heating and paying the rent, and a commitment to a living wage goes some way to help with this. Helping to make sure everyone has access to housing and basic services is also a key principle to building sustainable cities and communities.

The real Living Wage is paid voluntarily by numerous companies across the UK, including Nationwide. We’ve been an accredited Living Wage Employer and a Principal Partner of the Living Wage Foundation since 2014, paying the real Living Wage to both our permanent employees and our contingent workforce. We also encourage our third-party suppliers to pay, at a minimum, real living wages and to become accredited Living Wage Employers.

Supporting families

Our colleagues work hard to support our customers every day. But they have their own needs, challenges and important life events. Our people policies are designed with this in mind, enabling colleagues to focus on themselves, their family and their individuality so they can be their best at work and at home.

Our support is flexible and not prescriptive. We actively promote an environment which encourages people to be open about their needs. Our support includes paid time off to care for dependents, which may include a child, parent, or someone our colleagues care for. We offer a generous package of family friendly leave including maternity and paternity leave, with the same benefits applicable to adopting and long-term fostering parents and those adopting through surrogacy. We were the first organisation to offer premature baby leave in the UK in 2019 and extended that benefit to the co-parent in the event of hospitalisation of the primary birth parent or baby.

We have a continuous focus on supporting our colleagues’ physical, mental, emotional, social and financial wellbeing. Our Employee Care helpline is available to all Nationwide employees and dependants, 24/7, and provides a free counselling, health and wellbeing, legal information, and debt support service. All colleagues also have access to our healthcare plan, administered by BUPA, as part of their contractual benefits. We’ve partnered with Gympass to provide a wellbeing platform for our people, with access to a broad range of health and wellbeing options. Our Healthy Mind Champions are trained employees who offer a listening ear to anyone who wants to chat about their mental health or wellbeing. We have eleven employee network groups centred around gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation (LGBTQ+), disability, faith and belief, working carers, working families, veterans and reservists, mental health and wellbeing, sustainability, and social mobility. All our networks come together under the ‘Networks United’ umbrella, working collectively to create a sense of community and belonging for all network members, where they can connect with others and find peer support. They also work collaboratively with the business to help deliver the Society’s inclusion and diversity strategy, and act as a collective employee voice.

Through our networks, we have introduced trained menopause coaches, as well as healthy mind champions and mental health first aiders, across the Society. Our networks have also driven supportive people policy changes, including introducing a new policy on domestic abuse, outlining the support available to colleagues experiencing domestic abuse. This support includes access to mental health, legal and financial support services and the ability to change working arrangements and relocate if required. We have a dedicated team of colleagues trained as Domestic Abuse Allies.

We have also supported our colleagues’ financial wellbeing through the cost of living pressures. More information can be found on page 32 of our Annual Report and Accounts 2023. Our cost of living initiatives that we offer to customers are also available to any of our colleagues who are customers.

In addition, in partnership with Shelter (opens in new window), we have a Colleague Housing Package for colleagues who experience housing emergencies.

Determining salaries

Our reward approach supports a culture where leaders are empowered and supported to make appropriate and inclusive salary decisions, guided by reward principles and guidance.

We’ve simplified the way we manage pay, and have made it easier for our colleagues to move between roles to gain different experiences and grow their careers.

Inclusive and transparent reward practices which support collaboration, equity and sustainability are central to our approach. Alongside robust job evaluation and comprehensive benchmarking, a range of factors such as accountability, skills, experience and contribution are taken into account when determining salaries. We help leaders to guide and inform objective and inclusive pay decisions, enabling us to attract and retain diverse talent.

Pay is reviewed at least annually for all colleagues alongside periodic reviews to recognise those who outperform, develop new skills or take on new opportunities.

Equal pay

At Nationwide, we aim for pay to be fair for all. We’re committed to paying our colleagues fairly for the work they do, taking into account their experience and skills, and ensuring parity in pay across similar jobs.

We carry out regular pay monitoring and test our approach through periodic equal pay audits, checking the pay of people with different characteristics (such as gender and ethnicity) doing the same or similar roles. Our audits continue to show that our pay policies are operating fairly.

Equal pay is different to pay gaps, which measure the difference in earnings between different groups, across all roles. More information can be found in our gender and ethnicity pay gap reports.

Annual Performance Pay (APP)

Our employee APP plan is based on a combination of the collective achievement of the Society’s shared goals, and individual contribution. It reflects our success in achieving measures that focus on delivering benefits for the mutual good of our customers, ensuring we drive the right culture and behaviours.

Enabling performance

Having a clear focus on personal performance enables our colleagues to develop, and supports the successful delivery of our strategy. Our approach to enabling performance is centred around a strong relationship and regular conversations between colleagues and their managers. Having effective conversations helps colleagues to be clear on expectations and priorities, and gives them quality time to focus on their performance, development and well-being. This, in turn, empowers them to develop their skills and enables them to perform at their best.

Colleague’s performance goals are focused on both what we do and how we do it. Goals are aligned to the delivery of the Society’s strategy and purpose, and overlaid with a behavioural framework. Progress against goals is part of what’s discussed in regular conversations so colleagues know if they are on track and can be supported if they are off track. At the end of the year colleagues receive a performance rating for both delivery against performance goals and behaviours. Each year, colleagues complete personal development goals, to support their broader learning and development.

Our leaders are empowered to recognise exceptional contribution, as well as addressing underperformance.

Benefits and recognition

Our colleagues matter to us, which is why we work hard to understand and respond to what matters to them.

We offer all our employees access to a competitive pension scheme to help them plan for the future, alongside a generous Life Assurance benefit of eight times salary and Personal Accident Insurance of up to three times salary. In addition, we’ve designed a suite of flexible, voluntary employee benefits aimed to meet the diverse needs of our people, which we regularly review to ensure they evolve with colleague lifestyles and demands. Take a look at some benefits offered to our people (opens in a new window).

The health and wellbeing of our people is paramount to us. Therefore benefits such as employee assistance as well as Gympass to support health and wellbeing are core to our proposition.

Flexibility is also key to our colleague proposition and we are committed to enabling hybrid working. We offer a choice of working patterns for many of our roles and our approach to flexible working is supportive of our diversity and inclusion ambitions.

We say thank you to colleagues for their contribution and celebrate our successes together. From eCards that say ‘thank you’ for the everyday things and the ability to nominate colleagues for financial awards; we encourage a culture of appreciation. And our Annual Awards event recognises those who’ve really embodied our values.

Our pension provision

On joining Nationwide, colleagues are enrolled into the Nationwide Group Personal Pension (the Nationwide GPP) managed by Aviva. Over 97% of Nationwide employees are saving into the GPP for their future retirement.

The contributions we make are among the best out there, with Nationwide paying 13% of basic salary when an employee pays 4%.

But we encourage our colleagues to save more into their pension by matching additional contributions up to 3%. So, if they top up their contribution up to 7%, Nationwide’s contribution increases to 16%; a combined total pension contribution of 23%. As a result, over two-thirds of our pension savers contribute more than the minimum 4% required and actively choose to make additional contributions which also benefit from valuable tax savings.

Helping colleagues get the most from their pension

We help our colleagues understand how to manage their pension savings and keep on track for a good retirement by maintaining regular engagement.

We work closely with Aviva to make available guidance materials, pension modellers and online educational pensions seminars to help our colleagues get the most from their pension. And with the support of WEALTH at work, a leading financial wellbeing and retirement specialist, employees can access financial health checks and pre-retirement seminars.

Aviva issue regular communications to colleagues with relevant nudges or with generic topics such as lost pensions and nominating beneficiaries. And they make accessing pension savings easily available through mobile devices by using the MyAviva app (opens in new window).

Making responsible investments

To make sure our colleagues get value for money from the Nationwide GPP, we have a Pensions Governance Committee which meets regularly with Aviva and our external pension advisers.

Environmental considerations continue to be a key focus for the Nationwide GPP. In 2022, Nationwide changed the default investment option for members of Nationwide’s GPP. Nationwide’s Pension Governance Committee regularly reviews the GPP default investment option and agreed to change the underlying equity funds (for scheme members more than 10 years away from their selected retirement age) to invest in companies that adhere better to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

Colleagues can opt out of the default investment option and make their own investment choices if they so wish. This investment strategy is aligned with Nationwide’s climate strategy. The default investment strategy applies Aviva’s broader net-zero commitments.

For those colleagues who want to self-select how their pension savings are invested, Aviva offers many ESG and ethical funds to choose from, including a range of Stewardship Funds which are managed to make sure the companies that are being invested in deliver a positive outcome for their customers, suppliers, local communities and the environment.

Last updated: November 2023