JCB employees to receive full pay during week-long site closures

Manufacturing and construction organisation JCB will ensure employees receive full pay during its week-long shutdown due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

JCB announced on 19 March 2020 that it will close its stores for the next seven working days as a safety precaution, following on from the hospitalization of an employee diagnosed with Coronavirus at its Rochester site. The business has not yet come to a decision on what will happen after this period.

JCB’s office employees will continue to work a 39-hour week, with many working from home. However, shop floor employees directly affected by the closures will be paid in full during the period.

Graeme Macdonald, chief executive officer at JCB, said: “These measures are unprecedented in the history of JCB but are absolutely necessary to protect the business. As we continue to deal with the health implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become more challenging to maintain business continuity in this volatile economic climate.

“In light of this fast-changing situation, we need to re-plan our production and, as a result, manufacturing at all UK factories will cease for the rest of this week and all of next week. This will allow us to take stock of the situation, re-plan our order book, prioritise products that are definitely required by customers, and ensure parts and components are reassigned to support the production of these products.”

Stuart Harrison, organiser at trade union GMB, added: “We’re pleased to announce that working in partnership with JCB, [employees] have been granted full pay during this temporary closure. This ensures the [employees’] health, finances and family are all protected thanks to the tireless work of our workplace reps.

“It’s been a real struggle, first with the supply chain disruption and now with a confirmed infection in the workplace. Our thoughts are with the employee’s family and we thank JCB for taking decisive action to put its workers first.”