Heavy machinery manufacturer JCB has extended its period of no production until at least the end of April as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The firm has suspended its production at all of its UK sites, including Wrexham as well as Staffordshire and Derbyshire, but will will continue to pay its employees who are unable to work, the company has announced.

The firm's nine manufacturing plants across the UK closed on March 18 as disruption resulting from the pandemic caused an unprecedented reduction in global demand.

At that stage, only shop floor employees were affected while office staff continued to work a 39-hour week from home.

The extended shutdown will mean that most of JCB's 6,500 workforce will now be asked to stop working until at least the end of April.

During this period, all affected JCB employees will be paid 80% of their basic pay.

Senior JCB Directors will not be taking a salary from the company until further notice.

These are certainly unprecedented times and none of us expected to find ourselves in this situation.

Chief executive Graeme Macdonald

JCB said it intends to make an application to the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help offset the cost of supporting its employees during this "challenging period".