Manufacturer Dyson has announced it will cut 600 jobs in the UK and 300 more in rest of the world due to Covid-19 as the jobs bloodbath continues.
The company, which employs 14,000 people globally, 4,000 of whom are based in Britain, said impacted staff are in retail and customer service roles, adding it was working to redeploy people to alternative jobs where possible.
A Dyson spokesman 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.
‘We are fully supporting those who are impacted, finding alternative roles where possible.’
The company has not furloughed any staff, drawn on public money nor the British government’s job retention scheme during the pandemic.
Most of the staff impacted by today’s announcement are in retail or customer service roles, and the company said employees will be redeployed to different jobs where possible.
It follows the company’s founder, Sir James Dyson, topping the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time in May with an estimated wealth of £16.2billion.
He recently unveiled the sole prototype of his company’s electric car that was cancelled for being ‘too risky’.
Britain’s richest man scrapped his bold plan to market the Tesla-rivalling electric car last October after years of development work by his private company.
The company also developed a medical ventilator from scratch at the start of the pandemic, which the founder later said the government did not need.
An employee from Dyson told The Sun: ‘It’s their whole customer service team that are being made redundant.
‘We’re all due to receive redundancy packages later today. They have said that they are planning on outsourcing all of our roles as it’s cheaper.
‘The whole thing is incredibly out of the blue, and just last month we were all told that we were hitting record figures in relation to sales.’
In January last year Dyson, a Brexit-backing businessman, unveiled plans to relocate the manufacturer’s head office from the UK to Singapore, where he also owns an apartment.
At the time, Remain supporters criticised the founder for ‘staggering hypocrisy’ and warned it was ‘damning for the Government’, despite the firm’s insistence the relocation was not to do with Brexit.
Sir James was one of the loudest business supporters of Brexit at the 2016 referendum and when the talks stagnated in 2017 he urged Theresa May to ‘walk away’ and embrace leaving Europe.
Today’s announcement is one of the latest casualties in a series of job cuts to hit Britain’s high streets, after Marks & Spencer said they will axe 950 staff in the first wave of a cull that will hit thousands of workers.
Meanwhile John Lewis and Boots have already shed thousands of staff in the wake of the pandemic, with at least 65,000 jobs currently at risk across the country.
Millions of shoppers have moved to online shopping, with experts predicting there will eventually be 250,000 redundancies across the sector.