Jaguar Land Rover two-week shutdown: workers worry as agency staff ‘stood down’

The Jaguar Land Rover two-week production shutdown commenced on Monday (22nd October).

Hundreds of agency staff have been stood down during this period while some JLR-contracted employees have time off with full pay, it was reported.

The luxury car giant announced the sudden fortnight closure of its Lode Lane plant in Solihull earlier this month.

In a previous letter, agency staff were told that JLR had experienced “poor sales during September”.

It resulted in vehicles stockpiling up at showrooms across the UK and afar as JLR reported total retail sales of 57,114 vehicles in September, down 12.3 per cent year-on-year.

Alarmingly, JLR saw a sales slump of 46.2 per cent in China for the same period.

How Jaguar Land Rover addressed two-week production shutdown:

“As part of the company’s continued strategy for profitable growth, Jaguar Land Rover is focused on achieving operational efficiencies and will align supply to reflect fluctuating demand globally as required.

“The decision to introduce a two-week shutdown period later this month at Solihull is one example of actions we are taking to achieve this.

“Customer orders in the system will not be impacted and employees affected will be paid for the duration of the shutdown.”

Last week, meanwhile, DHL agency workers were handed a “briefing document” outlining what the shutdown means for affected staff.

The letter, dated October 17, reportedly explained a 100 banked hours agreement which was originally drawn up in 2008.

This means that DHL workers will be paid in full – unless they exceed 100 hours owed – as a normal working week consists of 39 hours, or 78 hours across the two-week shutdown period.

A DHL worker at JLR in Solihull, who didn’t want to be named, claimed: “We’ve all been left in the dark as far as I’m concerned.

“Pay day is the 25th and nobody knows what we’re being paid. Will it be basic pay? Who knows.

“We all feel like we’ll be going into Christmas without any money, that’s how we’re all looking at it.

“It’s worrying. I’ve got a family.

“But with it being Christmas you work for your pudding and not for free, do you know what I mean?

“We haven’t been balloted on the shutdown and I’m fuming with it.

“I am getting paid though, but I don’t have a clue how much.”

Other agency staff aren’t so lucky, though.

Another DHL worker at JLR said: “I’ve managed to find work elsewhere but, over the two weeks, it’s going to be hit and miss.

“I will be going back there because of the uncertainty.

“People are saying the JLR bubble has burst and a lot of people I know aren’t going back after the two weeks.

Elsewhere, staff at other agency firms such as Manpower UK and Blue Arrow have also been reportedly ordered to stand down, with some unsure if they’ll be missing out on wages.

Another anonymous worker told BirminghamLive: “Two weeks off and I still don’t know if I am getting paid.

“This has brought lots of financial worry and stress on me and my family.

“I’m just spending two weeks looking for a role where I will be appreciated and where I can pay my bills without worrying.

“I’m now looking for a complete new job away from JLR. The job security is not there anymore.

“I just hope I find a job sooner rather than later as this is putting a lot of stress on myself and my partner – and I’m out of pocket by about £370 per week.”

Some Jaguar Land Rover workers are on-site today and throughout the two-week shutdown period conducting ‘work in progress’ duties.

This means that staff will be fixing cars in need of minor repairs or part shortages.

A JLR-employed worker, though, who has opted to take a two-week break, told us: “I get a couple of weeks at home with my family but, from a company perspective, it doesn’t sound good.

“Personally, I don’t want to be there long-term anyway as it’s soul-destroying.

“There are a lot of people who are gutted on losing the shift allowance, though, as I guess they have bills to pay like the rest of us.”

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman previously said: “Customer orders in the system will not be impacted and employees affected will be paid for the duration of the shutdown.”

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