Highland Home Care staff awarded £1,000 in bonuses

Social care provider Highland Home Carers (HHC) is rewarding its staff with a profit share payment and share allocation bonuses of up to £1,000.

The financial boost from the Inverness-based company – which is the largest employee-owned organisation in Scotland – follows HHC’s decision in March to pay all of its front-line care and support staff a minimum of £10 an hour.

HHC staff who work full time (30 hours per week or more) have received an allocation of more than 1,000 shares with a cash value of around £500. They can be sold back to the Share Investment Plan (SIP) tax-free in five years’ time. The company said that in the past two years, its employees have benefitted from shares being sold back to the SIP, to the value of more than £70,000.

HHC is also paying a £500 profit share payment to those who have been with the company since 1 July 2020. Payments are calculated based on average working patterns using 30 hours per week as a full-time equivalent cap, which the organisation said is designed to bring the greatest advantage to the greatest number of people. The overall level of investment in these two areas will be nearly £300,000.

HHC managing director Campbell Mair said the bonuses were well deserved by the staff and a way of rewarding the commitment and resilience of its front-line workforce.

He said: “It’s a fantastic way of recognising and valuing their dedication and length of service. This year, with £500 share value, £500 profit share, and the government’s £500 thank-you (uniquely paid tax free by HHC back in February) to mark the extraordinary service and support offered during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, we have more than ever been able to demonstrate our unswerving commitment to our employee ownership, and to valuing our workforce so highly.”

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Mair explained that in the past two years alone, the business has boosted its front-line rates of pay by more than 11%. In addition, from March 2021, it increased its employer’s pensions contributions by 33%.

“It’s a fantastic example of employee ownership in action. We are proud that we exceed all national minimum standards in all aspects of our reward policy and take pride in improving the working lives of the social care workforce. Being owned by our employees means they have a say in how we do things and treat our staff, too,” he added.