MAJOR Dorset employers including Lush, JP Morgan and Barclays are all among the UK’s best companies to work for, according to new research.

The very best employer in the UK is the national pest control and hygiene firm Rentokil, pushing Apple into second place, according to reviews left by staff.

Dorset-based care provider Agincare is in third place, commended for its supportive management and a good work-life balance.

The business began in 1986, when chairman Derek Luckhurst bought a care home in Weymouth and named it Agincourt. Its second and third were Bosworth and Crecy, also in Weymouth.

Based at Castletown in Portland since 2014, the company has 3,500 staff in 50 locations.

Poole’s world-famous cruelty-free retailer Lush Cosmetics is in fifth place on the list.

It was founded 24 years ago in the High Street premises where its Poole shop still stands today. The company has around 450 shops under its ownership globally and more than 900 more bearing its brand, with more than 12,000 staff worldwide.

In 2017, it decided to pay staff the voluntary Living Wage, giving 1,000 workers at its Poole factory a pay rise worth up to £2,184. It also doubled parental leave and offered 20 hours of childcare for established staff returning to work.

Barclays, which employs around 1,000 people locally, including at Barclays House in Poole, was at number seven in the table.

Financial services giant JP Morgan, which has around 4,000 staff at Chaseside in Bournemouth, was 10th.

Just behind it was the international manufacturing conglomerate Siemens, which has more than 500 staff in Poole.

National retailers in the table included Wren Kitchens in fourth place, Marks and Spencer in 15th, John Lewis & Partners in 19th and Waitrose & Partners in 20th.

The rankings were based on reviews on the jobs site Indeed.

Bill Richards, UK managing director at Indeed, said: “Britain’s job creation boom may be easing off, but it’s still very much a jobseeker’s market - in which companies have to fight hard to attract the staff they need to grow.

“With private sector employers facing stiff competition for the best talent, many companies realise they need to offer more than just an attractive salary. Other factors can be just as important when it comes to wooing good people.

“Reviews posted this year on Indeed’s website by tens of thousands of employees demonstrate just how much value they put on a good work-life balance and a positive work culture – and how likely they are to research and consider these factors before deciding to apply.

“The companies in our top 25 scored consistently highly across all categories, and reviews from their staff show what a decisive difference these factors make in how they are regarded as employers.”

The full top 25 was: 1 Rentokil Initial, 2 Apple, 3 Agincare Group, 4 Wren Kitchens, 5 Lush Cosmetics, 7 Barclays, 8 Nandio’s, 9 Kumon, 10 JP Morgan Chase, 11 Siemens AG, 12 PwC, 15 Marks and Spencer, 16 IKEA, 17 Bakkavor, 18 GlaxoSmithKline, 19 John Lewis & Partners, 20 Waitrose & Partners, 21 RBS, 22 Clarks, 23 BAE Systems, 24 Lloyds Bank, 25 Arnold Clark.