Bright Horizons invests £10m to boost salaries and pay scales

Catherine Gaunt
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Bright Horizons, the UK’s second largest nursery group, is investing £10m to boost staff salaries and respond to the cost-of-living crisis.

Bright Horizons is removing the age-related National Minimum Wage (NMW) for under-23s, which means that all employees will be on or above the NMW for 23-year-olds and above PHOTO Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons is removing the age-related National Minimum Wage (NMW) for under-23s, which means that all employees will be on or above the NMW for 23-year-olds and above PHOTO Bright Horizons

The company said it is ‘dedicated’ to enrolling 700 people onto its apprenticeship programme in the UK.

This will include 300 new recruits joining the scheme and enhanced apprenticeship support for 400 existing employees.

The minimum salary in Bright Horizons’ London-based nurseries will rise above the 'real Living Wage', which is set by the Living Wage Foundation and is £11.05 per hour in London.

In addition, the nursery group is removing the age-related National Minimum Wage (NMW) for those under 23, which means that all its employees will be on or above the National Living Wage. 

From 1 April, the National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over will rise to £9.50 per hour. National Minimum Wage rates set by the Government will rise to £9.18 for 21-to 22-year-olds and £6.83  for 18-to-20-year-olds.

It is also introducing new pay bands for all other nursery roles including housekeeper, chef and kitchen assistants.

The real Living Wage is different to the Government minimum wage for 23s and over, called the ‘National Living Wage' (NLW). While the real Living Wage is independently calculated based on living costs and is paid by employers voluntarily, the Government’s NLW is based on a percentage of median earnings, and all employers are required to pay it.   

Bright Horizons also said it is adding to its benefits package with a focus on colleagues’ emotional, physical and financial wellbeing, in recognition that improved practitioner wellbeing not only benefits the practitioner, but also the quality of their care and education provision for the children and families they support.

Ros Marshall, managing director UK at Bright Horizons, said, ‘Our hard-working practitioners deserve recognition, investment and support. Bright Horizons is committed to ensuring that skilled and well-supported practitioners are key to the quality of our early years services. We continually review and adapt our rewards and benefits for our colleagues and remain very proud of our industry-leading training and development, which provides our colleagues with a rewarding career path.’

Janine Leightley, HR director at Bright Horizons, said, ‘Our aim is to change the way people think about early childhood. The first five years of a child’s life lay the foundations for their future. The work of care practitioners is some of the most important work there is and Bright Horizons believes that investing in the practitioners who care for and teach our children can have lifelong implications in a child’s development.’

Bright Horizons’ recently gained top ranking among the UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Wellbeing (2022) by Great Place to Work®, a global leader on workplace culture.

 

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