Staff at Stoke-on-Trent engineering firm face having hours cut as JCB and Bentley cancel orders due to coronavirus pandemic


Staff at Olympus Engineering face having their hours cut as production levels continue to be decimated by the coronavirus outbreak.

Employees at the Etruria company have been told that 500 hours will need to be cut from certain areas of the business every week.

It comes after the pandemic resulted in a huge reduction of orders from large customers including JCB and Bentley Motors.

It is believed the company, which provides engineering services to customers predominantly in the automotive sector, employs around 150 staff at its base in Garner Street.

Employees who are likely to be affected by the changes were issued with a ‘staff briefing’ letter earlier this month.

The document – which has been leaked to StokeonTrentLive – details how the company has already seen a 51 per cent reduction in orders from JCB in the first quarter of this year, and is predicting a further reduction of almost 80 per cent in quarter two.

At the same time, a lack of orders from Crewe-based Bentley Motors will results in turnover for the quarter falling by up to 90 per cent.

The letter states: “As you may be aware, the company has seen a reduction in customer orders prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have subsequently been reviewing forecasts for the next few months which unfortunately show little or no signs of improvement.

Olympus Engineering in Etruria

“As a result in these reduction in orders, and consequently reduced work activity and profit margins, we have been reviewing all areas of the business and the company structure.

“We have determined that there is an excess of labour hours for the predicted volume of work based on the above, as such, we are looking to reduce the number of weekly hours in these specific areas by five hundred.

“It is envisaged that roles in the supporting functions will also be directly affected, where work activities have reduced as a direct result of these changes.”

It adds: “Our focus is to ensure that we can continue to operate as a business, however, we do realise that this may be unsettling news to you and please rest assured that we will endeavour to make this process as straight forward and professional as possible, while doing our upmost to minimise the impact on employees.”

StokeonTrentLive contacted Olympus Engineering for more information but the company declined to make any further comment.





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