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Nursery workers celebrate £850,000 pay-out

The tax-free partnership dividend payments, of up to £680 each for employee owners contributing to Childbase Partnership success in the last financial year, follow an inflation-busting 3.7% pay increase for nursery practitioners in November.

In a personal letter to all employee owners – currently over 1,700 – Childbase Partnership founder and chairman Mike Thompson described the payment as a turning point in the company’s history.

He said: “This partnership dividend payment is the first step in our new employee-owned focus at the company. It recognises the contribution all colleagues make to the success of our company and the role each of us has to play in this partnership going forward.”

The payments by the business, headquartered in Newport Pagnell, are subject to National Insurance contributions but are tax free under new HMRC rules for employee-owned companies.

Payment terms for the partnership dividend were agreed by all company boards and the 42-member employee-elected Partnership Council and take into account ongoing investment in training programmes, nursery facilities and equipment.

Pro rata payments were also made to employees who worked less than full-time, started midway during the financial year or were absent due to sickness or maternity leave.

Every employee also received a commemorative coin.

Former pre-school teacher Ann Wiseman, now a team leader at the Lavenders Day Nursery in Bedford joined the company in September. “I was totally surprised and delighted to get a percentage of the payout. It is wonderful as I come from a sector where there are no bonuses rewarding contributions,” she said.

The partnership dividend payment follows an historic company-wide vote to move from individual share ownership of the company, founded in 1989, to a long-term trust.

Childbase Partnership  was named Employee Owned Business of the Year 2016/2017. Most of its nurseries have has most of its 41 nurseries have Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ ratings.  

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