redundancies - Bentley Motors factory - Pyms Lane

Bentley Motors today announced it is starting a 60-day consultation on compulsory redundancies from its South Cheshire plant.

The company said it was “some way short” of the 1,000 colleagues they were hoping to accept terms on its voluntary redundancy plan announced on June 5.

It has extended the voluntary release window to July 31 in the hope more employees will take up this option.

“Regrettably, we will now run in parallel a compulsory redundancy programme. A 60-day consolation period starts today,” the company said in a statement today (June 22).

They said the 1,000 number of colleagues they are looking to leave the business has not been amended.

“The more people that accept VR, the smaller the number of compulsory redundancies will be,” it added.

“With that in mind, we have extended the voluntary release window until July 31st to give colleagues the best chance of accepting the better terms.”

It also confirmed that of the 1,000 colleagues it seeks to let go, around 300 will be contractors with the other 700 permanent colleagues, the majority of these in office-based areas.

A Bentley Motors spokesman said today: “Two weeks ago we launched our Beyond100 strategy, a programme that will redefine Bentley for the next 100 years, with the ambition to be a leader in sustainable luxury mobility, financially resilient and recession-proof.

“As part of this plan, we announced a voluntary release programme, where we were looking for around 1,000 colleagues to accept the favourable terms to leave the business.

“Unfortunately, it is looking clear that we will not reach those numbers and therefore, it is with great regret that we will now run in parallel a compulsory redundancy consultation.

“In order to allow colleagues more time to benefit from the superior terms on offer, we are extending the voluntary release programme by four further weeks to the end of July and of course, the number of people who accept these terms will have an impact on the number of redundancies.

“These are decisions we are not taking lightly, but it is important to safeguard the jobs of the vast majority who will remain and protect the business through the immediate crisis.

“Then, we are hopeful of being in the necessary position to build as we reinvent our company, continue to lead our sector and look to establish ourselves as the leader in sustainable luxury mobility for the next 100 years.”

Crewe & Nantwich MP Kieran Mullan said: “It is of course very sad to hear that Bentley will now need to move to compulsory redundancies.

“It is positive that they have extended the voluntary scheme to give staff another chance to take up that offer.

“Our economy faces some real difficulties in coming months and I can’t pretend that there are easy answers and easy solutions. We will all need to pull together as a community as best we can.

“I know Bentley have already begun working with local partners like the Local Enterprise Partnership and Cheshire East to try and identify opportunities for staff.

“I am in touch with the LEP and the local Chamber to see what we can do. Following my initial conversations after the first announcement, this week I am having a meeting with the Department for Work and Pensions jobs minister to take forward plans for government to make sure they are doing everything they can to help people at Bentley to find new opportunities.”

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