Manufacturers are investing in their workforce, Make UK analysis finds

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A new analysis of shift premia and benefits carried out by Make UK reveals that retention of good people has become easier for manufacturers in the last 12 months.

But this change has been largely because of a willingness from companies to invest in their workforce to keep people on the payroll. Manufacturers are rewarding their staff for different shift patterns, extra responsibilities and additional hours, as well as giving more to support new parents and those suffering from ill-health.

Two thirds of companies that offer overtime, pay time and a half for extra hours and staff who work Bank Holidays, while 33% offer bonuses or incentives for meeting production targets or other goals. Some 31% ensure employees can benefit from professional development opportunities and nearly a quarter (22%) give health and wellness benefits such as gym membership.

Taking on additional responsibilities is also well rewarded, with nearly half of companies giving employees who volunteer to be a First Aider an annual payment of more than £1,000 a year. And 17% offer the same for Mental Health First Aider volunteers. 82% of companies offer employees benefits in kind such as company pension schemes and 60% give workers the option of taking up Private health insurance.

Nearly half of manufacturers (47%) offer a fixed percentage premium for workers who take on permanent night shifts while 43% offer a premium for the early shift on a double day shift. And 53% give a fixed percentage on a late shift for a double day shift pattern.

Pay settlements have slightly declined as inflation and recruitment pressures have eased over the last year, across the sector manufacturers continue to support their employees significantly above Statutory Sick Pay for those suffering ill health (45% of manufacturers pay above) while 90% of firms that offer enhanced maternity pay give an enhanced offering based on length of service.

Jamie Cater, Make UK employment lead said: “Manufacturers continue to invest in their people, and it is paying dividends in improved recruitment and retention across the sector over recent months. Firms have looked not just to basic pay, but a range of different financial rewards, incentives and bonuses for skilled staff.

"Employees working different shift patterns and overtime typically receive a generous settlement, while increased support for parental leave and pay, sick leave and additional workplace responsibilities are all playing a role in enabling manufacturers to keep hold of talent. In a labour market that remains highly competitive for the skills the sector needs, this investment is crucial for retention.”