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Dyson announces 900 job cuts, mostly in UK

Image credit: Dreamstime

Dyson has announced that 900 jobs will be cut, mostly in the UK, as it adapts to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of job losses will not be in engineering.

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up consumer habits and spending power, with more people shopping online. Many UK high street retailers have collapsed into administration during the pandemic including Monsoon, Le Pain Quotidien, Quiz, Victoria’s Secret UK, Debenhams, and Oasis and Warehouse Group.

Dyson employees sell its products in department stores, which had virtually no footfall in the UK for months. Dyson will be cutting 600 jobs in the UK and 300 more worldwide as it accelerates its restructuring; most of these jobs will be in retail and customer service, rather than in engineering. Approximately 15 per cent of Dyson’s UK staff will lose their jobs compared with around 3 per cent on average for its non-UK workforce.

According to reports, staff were informed of the layoffs during a video conference with Dyson CEO Roland Krüger.

A Dyson spokesperson said: “The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated changes in consumer behaviour and therefore requires changes in how we engage with our customers and how we sell our products. We are evolving our organisation and reflecting these changes to make us faster, more agile, and better able to grow sustainably.

“These proposals would regrettably result in around 600 redundancies in the UK and 300 in the rest of the world. We are fully supporting those who are impacted, finding alternative roles where possible.”

Dyson has not furloughed any staff or accepted any public money to support its workforce.

The company employs 14,000 people around the world; it designs most of its products in the UK and manufactures them in Singapore and Malaysia.

In January 2019, founder Sir James Dyson announced that the company would move its headquarters from Malmesbury in Wiltshire to Singapore. This will move Dyson closer to its key Asian markets, as well as benefitting from lower corporate tax rates and a landmark Free Trade Agreement signed between Singapore and the EU in 2018. Sir James Dyson faced some criticism for the move, as one of a small handful of business leaders to back Brexit.

Dyson recently joined the 'Ventilator Challenge' to produce ventilators for the NHS amid fears that its supply of the complex machines would be insufficient to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Although the government ordered 10,000 'CoVent' ventilators from Dyson, it later cancelled the order as non-pharmaceutical measures to curtail the spread of the virus negated the need for thousands of extra ventilators.

Sir James Dyson, who stopped the Sunday Times Rich List this year, also revealed that he had sunk £500m of his personal wealth into an aborted project to design a SUV-style Dyson EV.

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