JCB look to make up to 1500 employees redundant due to Coronavirus

  • Digger maker says 500 agency workers to be laid off
  • 950 further staff under threat despite extension of Covid-19 furlough scheme
  • Order book halved

Up to 1500 jobs are at risk of redundancy at Staffordshire based JCB, the firm announced today.

The company has written to staff to say jobs are under threat of redundancy at its 10 plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham. A 45-day redundancy consultation period with staff will begin on Monday.

About 500 Guidant agency workers, who work at UK sites, are also being released from the business. It is unlikely that these workers will be given a settlement agreement as agency workers are generally not entitled to statutory redundancy pay.

JCB said the jobs were at risk “as a result of the severe disruption caused to JCB’s business by the Covid-19 crisis, which will see annual production halved”.

Chief executive Graeme Macdonald said the decision to make mass redundancies had been extremely tough but the company “had no choice but to take difficult decisions to adapt to this new economic reality”.

JCB currently employs about 6,700 people in the UK, including agency employees.

“In 2020 we had planned to sell and produce over 100,000 machines,” MacDonald said.

“With so much global uncertainty, that figure right now is looking more like 50,000 machines. 

“No business could have anticipated the scale of the Covid-19 crisis and its economic consequences.”

Macdonald added: “The government’s taxpayer-funded job retention scheme, which was a temporary measure that has seen most UK employees furloughed since the beginning of April, was never going to be capable of sustaining employment at companies having to face such reduced levels of demand.”

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