JJO’s bumper year rewards staff

JJO’s first year as a majority employee-owned company has seen turnover rise above pre-Covid levels resulting in employees receiving their first tax-free bonus.

In March 2021, the manufacturer announced that it would be majority-owned by its employees through an Employee Ownership Trust. The transfer was said to give the 340 employees a “vested interest in the future increased profitability of the firm”.

The employees will receive a tax-free bonus in their March pay packets. Bonuses will reflect how long they have been with the company, with employees who have more than 20 years’ service receiving the most significant bonuses.

JJO managing director Stephen Greenhalgh said: “I am delighted to announce that JJO’s turnover has been higher for the last year than our figures pre-Covid. As a result, we have been able to share that success with employees who have been with JJO for more than 12 months and without whom we could not have achieved the turnover.

“Employees who have more than 20 years’ service, and there are a lot at JJO, received the largest bonus.”

Employees were pleasantly surprised by the announcement that they would receive a bonus.

Dave Ashworth [pictured left], who works as a warehouse operative and started in 1979, said he would book some concert tickets. He said: “I am going to use my bonus to go and see the Rolling Stones in concert in Hyde Park. I had seen them many times before, firstly in 1982, just three years after I started at JJO.”

When Denis Trough [pictured right], who works in customer service and started work with JJO in 1982, found out that he would receive a bonus of more than £1,000, he was shocked. As a result, he is planning to treat himself and his four children.

Greenhalgh continued: “The amount of bonus paid to employees is based on the performance of the business in its financial year, which runs from March 1 to February 28.

“We were incredibly busy from September to November. In fact, we were struggling to recruit, and part of our message to anyone looking for work is that at JJO, you get offered a package, so not only do you get a share of profits after the first year in employment, but we also offer free critical care insurance.”

He added: “The business performed extremely well during Covid, maybe as a result of people not having holidays and choosing instead to carry out home improvements, but that has also carried on.”

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