Why we should know our Labour Turnover rate in Early Years

Why we should know our Labour Turnover rate in Early Years

July 29, 2021

Labour Turnover rates impact so many aspects of a business. But relatively few employers calculate their labour turnover rate and set in place actions to improve it.

Labour Turnover is the rate in which a employer ‘turns over’ its workforce. Its the rate of attrition.

Here’s our online calculator to find out your labour turnover.

In 2019, the last year that figures for the UK are available, the average labour turnover for all organisations was 16%.


Employers will want to have low labour turnover, but there can be downsides to a labour turnover that is too low. Here are some positives of having labour turnover:

  • It can eliminate complacency in the workplace.
  • Ensures keeping your top performers and getting rid of any deadwood.
  • Promotes improved performance.
  • Helps stay competitive in this fast-changing world.
  • Aids innovation and disregards outdated methods of practice.

The positives of having a low labour turnover are:

  • Less disruption in daily operations.
  • More attentive and observant staff.
  • Showing better safeguarding and a greater concern for the wellbeing of the children in your care as a Nursery Owner.

However there are significant negative impacts of having a high labour turnover, these include:

  • Loss of knowledge, skill and experience: especially in the Early Years sector. Between 2015 and 2019 the percentage of Level 3 qualified staff in day nurseries declined from 83 percent to 52 percent.
  • Lowered morale for any remaining employees.
  • Higher absenteeism and lateness.
  • Lower quality of service from Nursery staff.
  • Poorer child outcomes.
  • Reduced profit

The causes of high labour turnover can include the following:

  • Opportunity of lower responsibility, higher paid jobs in the retail sector, such as supermarkets.
  • Lack of growth and progression and little opportunity to make decisions often lead to a lack of empowerment felt by the employee.
  • Lower motivation is also often caused by being overworked, having conflict in the workplace or having a feeling of no recognition.

There are many ways to control Labour Turnover, these include:

  • Define the roles clearly.
  • Clarify whether the candidates have the skills that you require.
  • Ensure they fit the company culture by asking questions such as “How do you like to be managed?” or “What type of company culture do you feel you’d thrive in?”
  • Investing in employees through training.
  • Giving them thorough feedback.
  • Rewarding employees.
  • Ensuring a work life balance.
  • By focusing your efforts on building employee engagement.

If you need any assistance with any aspect of managing labour turnover, please do not hesitate to call us on 01527 909436.


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