JCB announces redundancies as demand halves

Up to 950 jobs are at risk of redundancy at manufacturer JCB as demand for its machines halved during the coronavirus crisis.

Some 500 agency employees sourced through recruiter Guidant are also being released from the business.

The job losses will be spread across its plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham in North Wales, the firm said in a statement.

CEO Graeme Macdonald said the firm “had no choice but to take difficult decisions to adapt to this new economic reality”.

He said: “It is deeply regrettable that we have had to take these steps to restructure the business and that it will have an impact on so many people. No business could have anticipated the scale of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences. JCB has had to act quickly for the long-term survival of the business, which has been at the heart of our decision-making throughout this difficult period.”

JCB currently employs around 6,700 people in the UK, including agency employees. The majority of its employees have been furloughed as production at the factories largely stopped in March.

Earlier this week the firm reopened production “at low levels” and with social-distancing measures introduced across five locations. Some 400 employees returned to work, mainly to satisfy demand for agricultural machinery.

Sources construction news.co.uk