JCB ends ‘short-time working’ as component shipping improves

JCB has announced that it is ending its “short-time working” at its UK factories and reverting to a five-day working pattern.

Around 4,000 JCB and agency shop floor employees had been working a 34-hour week for the past fortnight due to anticipated component shortages from Chinese suppliers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, the company said in a statement.

However, from this week, all factories are reverting to a basic working week of 39 hours.

Commenting on the move, JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “This is not a moment for celebration, but it is a step in the right direction.

There has been some improvement in the shipment of components from China but new threats are emerging from our supply chain in other parts of the world, notably Italy and South Korea.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely on a daily basis and take any necessary measures to protect the business,” Macdonald concluded.

Component shortage fears

The shorter working week came into effect on Monday, February 17, along with an immediate suspension of overtime.

It was noted at the time of the announcement that JCB employees would “be paid for a 39-hour week and will bank the hours, working them back later in the year”.