Around 7,200 employees at JCB’s 11 plants across Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham will receive an extra £1,000 in their pay packets. The last time a Christmas bonus of that size was awarded was in 2007.
JCB machine production reached a 73-year high in 2018 and an additional 1,500 people have been recruited. This includes the awarding of permanent JCB contracts to around 550 agency employees.
JCB’s exports have been boosted by the collapse in the value of the pound since Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Chairman Lord Bamford said: “JCB has had a very successful year and I am delighted that we are able to award a substantial Christmas bonus to thank our employees for their contribution. There are many parallels between JCB and the British economy at the moment: both are doing very well indeed and both have record levels of employment. What’s more, the signs remain extremely encouraging for 2019, with many reasons to remain positive for the future, both for our business, and the UK, which, after all, is the world’s fifth largest economy.”
Jake Shakeshaft, 23, of Newcastle-under-Lyme joined JCB is a Guidant agency employee after coming 24th for the UK in the 2016 Eurovision song contest as part of the duo Joe & Jake. He now works on JCB's production line in Rocester. He said he will spend his bonus on a holiday. "It wasn’t something I was expecting at all so I am over the moon - it's brilliant. It’s an amazing amount and I’ll be using it to pay for my holiday in the Dominican Republic, in July.”