JCB is suspending UK production until at least the end of April as a result of the coronavirus crisis and will continue to pay employees unable to work. Senior JCB directors will not be taking a salary until further notice, said the company.

The firm’s nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham closed on 18 March as a result of ”an unprecedented reduction in global demand.” The extended shutdown will mean that the vast majority of its 6,500 workforce will be asked to stop working until at least the end of April. During this period, all affected employees will be paid 80% of their basic pay.

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JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “These are certainly unprecedented times and none of us expected to find ourselves in this situation. In announcing that all those JCB colleagues asked not to work will receive 80% of their pay, we hope to remove any financial concerns that many people will undoubtedly have had.”

The company said it will make an application to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help offset the cost of its support of employees during this period. The scheme is designed to support employers in continuing to pay part of employees’ salaries, for employees who would otherwise have been laid off.

The UK Government scheme pays 80% of an employee’s salary up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. In devising its scheme, JCB said it had set no cap and will pay 80% of each affected employee’s pay.

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