JCB will cut production at its UK factories as a result of the coronavirus outbreak impacting suppliers in China
The construction equipment manufacturer, JCB, revealed there would be a shorter working week for around 4,000 employees from next Monday (17 February).
It also said there would be an immediate suspension of all overtime.
JCB has decided to cut production due to the fact that around a quarter of its Chinese suppliers are closed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
JCB’s decision highlights the overarching impact coronavirus is having on the economy.
The manufacturers’ measures will see the introduction of a 34-hour working week for JCB and agency shop floor employees “until further notice”.
Those employed directly by JCB will be paid for a 39-hour week and bank the hours to work them back later in the year.
Protect the business and workforce
Chief operating officer of JCB, Mark Turner, said production in the UK had so far been unaffected but the situation for its Chinese suppliers meant there would be disruption in coming weeks.
Turner, commented: “The disruption to the component supply chain in the UK comes at a time when demand for JCB products is very strong, so while this course of action is very unfortunate, it is absolutely necessary to protect the business and our skill base.
“This inevitably means we will not have the required amount of parts needed to build our forecast number of machines in the short term.
“These measures will ensure that, while we will produce machines in lower than anticipated numbers, we will do so with the same number of employees, whose skills we will need to fulfil customers’ orders when the situation returns to normal.
“We are keeping the situation under review and we anticipate a surge in production levels once this supply disruption has passed.”
JCB employs 15,000 people worldwide including 7,500 in the UK.