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Dyson to cut up to 1,000 jobs as more than a quarter of UK workforce axed

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Louise Thomas

Dyson is axeing up to 1,000 jobs in the UK as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The move by the vacuum cleaner maker, which relocated its headquarters to Singapore in 2019, will see its UK-based workforce reduced by more than a quarter.

The company, founded by Sir James Dyson in 1991, has 3,500 UK employees based in offices in Wiltshire, Bristol and London.

Staff were told the news on Tuesday morning.

In a statement, Dyson chief executive Hanno Kirner said the job losses were a result of the company reviewing its global structures and preparing for the future.

He added: “We are proposing changes to our organisation, which may result in redundancies. Dyson operates in increasingly fierce and competitive global markets, in which the pace of innovation and change is only accelerating.”

Engineers work at the Dyson Technology Campus, in Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Engineers work at the Dyson Technology Campus, in Malmesbury, Wiltshire (Reuters)

Dyson’s last submitted accounts, filed in October last year, show its pre-tax annual profit fell slightly to £9.6m for 2022 from £10.2m the year before, due to a fall in the number of goods sold.

Back in 2019, Sir James attracted criticism for his decision to move Dyson’s head office from Wiltshire to Singapore, with some accusing him of hypocrisy for switching the British company’s base to Asia while being a prominent supporter of Brexit.

He said the move had nothing to do with the UK’s decision to leave the EU and made commercial sense because many of Dyson’s future customers would be in Asia.

Last year, the company announced it was building a huge battery plant in Singapore, to be opened in 2025, in what it described as its most “significant investment in advanced manufacturing”.

Plans were also unveiled for a technology centre in the Philippines – with the aim of hiring an additional 400 engineers – and a £100m new research and development hub in Bristol.

Sir James, who ranked fifth in the Sunday Times Rich list with a fortune of £2.2bn, was critical of the former Conservative government over its handling of the economy.

In December, the inventor accused former PM Rishi Sunak and former chancellor Jeremy Hunt of failing on growth, while praising their predecessors Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng for “doing the right thing”.

His comments came after revised figures showed the UK economy was performing worse than previously thought, despite a fall in inflation.

Sir James said: “Wealth generation and growth became dirty words. I’ve always believed that inflation isn’t quite the enemy everyone thinks it is. If you’ve got growth, a bit of inflation doesn’t matter. If you get inflation down and kill growth, I think you’re in trouble.”

Read More: Dyson to cut up to 1,000 jobs as more than a quarter of UK workforce axed

2024-07-09 13:43:54

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