Jaguar Land Rover furlough 20,000 UK staff during coronavirus crisis

Jaguar Land Rover has furloughed half of its entire UK workforce - upto 20,000 workers - due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The car manufacturer told BirminghamLive they "furloughed allroles that are not critical during this temporary period of disruption."

Its board and leadership team will also be deferring salary payments fromMay for three months, the firm said.

Production ceased at the Castle Bromwich site on March 24 and itsSolihull plant on March 23. JLR also confirmed that "a controlled stop would continue for a few more weeks."

A spokeswoman said: "At Jaguar Land Rover, the health of our employees is our primary concern. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance of all relevant authorities."

Some employees accused the firm of allegedly "making staff paybacktime due to coronavirus in compulsory overtime" despite 80 per cent ofmonthly wages being covered by the Government.

Meanwhile, a JLR spokeswoman said: "The use of corridor hours arrangement hasallowed us to act quickly to manage and administrate our applicationof the job retention scheme.

"For those on furlough, we are topping up wages to protect 100% basesalary during April.

"We are in discussions with the trade unions and our employees areregularly updated by Jaguar Land Rover and the trade unions about thecurrent situation."

JLR added: "Our manufacturing sites are on a controlled stop andcontinue to adhere to government advice. Against the backdrop of rapidly changing circumstances, we have decided to extend the controlled stop at our plants for a few more weeks.

Jaguar Land Rover has its headquarters based in Coventry. Credit: PA

"We are working towards an orderly return to production as soon asconditions permit. We are operating in line with advice from the NHS & Public Health England to minimise the spread of the coronavirus, whilst implementing plans to safeguard our business continuity."

It comes after 100 workers at a JLR factory in the UK have had theirjobs saved. The staff members, who work for the Midlands car giant,work at the Halewood plant, in Merseyside.

JLR staff have given more than £17,000 to local charities.

Two donations of £5,000 each will go to Renewal CC, a Solihull charitywhich offers a referral-based foodbank services, and Age UK Solihull,which will be delivering food parcels to around 10,000 of Solihull'smost isolated and vulnerable elderly residents.