The plant maker has written to UK employees today to advise that the staff roles are under threat at its 10 plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham.
Around 500 agency employees are also being released from the business.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald today said the decision to restructure JCB’s business had been extremely tough but that the company “had no choice but to take difficult decisions to adapt to this new economic reality”.
“In 2020 we had planned to sell and produce over 100,000 machines. With so much global uncertainty, that figure right now is looking more like 50,000 machines,” he said.
“In the UK, around 85% of everything we manufacture is exported and our UK factories will now produce machines at half the rate we had planned just a few months ago.
“No business could have anticipated the scale of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences. JCB has had to act quickly for the long-term survival of the business, which has been at the heart of our decision-making throughout this difficult period.”
JCB currently employs around 6,700 people in the UK, including agency employees.
A 45-day consultation over the proposed JCB job losses will begin on Monday, when discussions with staff representatives will start.
The vast majority of JCB’s employees are currently furloughed until the end of May after production at UK factories stopped in March in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
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.”