Christmas came early for staff at Tayside civil engineering groundworks specialists Kilmac, where – for the first time since becoming an employee ownership trust (EOT) – more than 100 employees have enjoyed four-figure festive season windfalls.
Long-time Kilmac workers Stevie Roy, Colin Welch and Marie Bartlett admit the windfall could not have been timed better.
Mr Roy, a foreman, said: “It has come as a very pleasant surprise. I don’t think anyone was expecting such a hefty bonus after becoming an EOT.
“I have been with the company right from the start and there has always been a close family feel to it. That hasn’t changed despite growing and moving into employee ownership.”
Mr Welch, who was also a member of the original Kilmac team when the company was formed by directors Athole McDonald and Richard Kilcullen nearly 20 years ago, added: “We had heard there might be a nice Christmas bonus in the pipeline so it’s very welcome.”
Dundee office manager Ms Bartlett, who has been with Kilmac for nearly 10 years, said: “A lot of the staff have been with the company for years and I don’t think any of us anticipated such a healthy bonus being paid out.
“It’s perfectly timed and sure to make for a special Christmas.”
Julie Scobie, Kilmac’s finance director, said: “We are delighted that staff who have been with us for at least a year have been able to enjoy a substantial Christmas bonus.
“Anyone who has been with us for at least five years is entitled to the maximum tax-free allowance under the EOT guidelines and the figure is the same for every member of staff who qualifies, no matter their role within the company.
“We are on target to report a record turnover in the region of £40 million for the 2023/24 financial year.
“That reflects the expansion we have been undertaking, adding offices in Livingston and more recently Dunfermline to our more traditional Tayside heartland.”
Determined to prepare the succession planning groundwork, founders Athole and Richard moved down the EOT path last year.
“Many of our staff, whether in the offices or on the building sites, have been part of the team for years and the EOT bonuses have been designed to encourage businesses which have a track record of investing in developing and retaining their own workforce,” said Ms Scobie.