Dyson to cut a quarter of UK workforce

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Dyson is axing about 1,000 jobs in the UK, more than a quarter of its workforce in the country. 

Staff at the vacuum cleaner and air filter manufacturer were told on Tuesday morning about the redundancies, which are part of a wider move to reduce the company’s 15,000-strong global workforce, according to people familiar with the matter. 

The job cuts are a blow to the UK and come on the same day that the new secretary of state for business, Jonathan Reynolds, gathered more than 100 business leaders on a call to set out his priorities. 

Dyson’s largest market is Asia, where the business competes against local rivals that often produce similar-looking products shortly after those manufactured by the company. 

“Dyson operates in increasingly fierce and competitive global markets, in which the pace of innovation and change is only accelerating. We know we always need to be entrepreneurial and agile,” said Hanno Kirner, chief executive. 

“We have grown quickly and, like all companies, we review our global structures from time to time to ensure we are prepared for the future,” he added, saying cutting jobs was “always incredibly painful”. 

The review that led to the redundancies started before the UK general election was called in May, according to people with knowledge of the process, and the redundancies are unrelated. 

Dyson employs about 3,500 people in the UK. The company did not say how many roles would be cut worldwide, with reviews taking place on a country by country basis.  

The company, which is still overseen by founder Sir James Dyson, has grown beyond its initial specialism of vacuum cleaners into products including hair dryers, fans and air purifiers. Its engineers work on dozens of potential projects, many of which are never disclosed. 

Dyson in 2019 abandoned a £2bn push to break into the manufacture of electric vehicles, although it continues to work on batteries for its cordless products. 

The UK cuts are expected to affect every department, including management layers. Britain is set to remain as a research and development centre for the company and will still be its main product development hub, although some of this work already takes place in Singapore. 

But the job cuts risk further complicating the perception in the UK of the company’s founder, one Britain’s most successful inventors and entrepreneurs. 

The billionaire lost a libel battle last year against the publisher of the Daily Mirror over an article that branded the industrialist a “hypocrite” for supporting Brexit but later moving his company’s headquarters to Singapore.

The company said at the time that Brexit was not a motivating factor for the move, which it said was for commercial reasons, noting that most of its customers and all its manufacturing operations were in Asia. 

Sir James Dyson said in December that the UK’s current political leaders, from both the Conservative and Labour parties, were not “going for growth” and that “wealth generation and growth” had become “dirty words”. 

New Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer and chancellor Rachel Reeves have placed “growth” at the heart of their ambitions for the UK but have faced persistent accusations from opponents that they will need to raise taxes. 

Dyson’s founder clashed with former Conservative chancellor Jeremy Hunt in a meeting at No 11 Downing Street in March that was described by observers as “fiery”. According to one person familiar with the exchange, Hunt asked the businessman: “If you think you could do a better job, why don’t you just stand for election?”

https://www.highcpmgate.com/f0c2i8ki?key=d7778888e3d5721fde608bfdb62fd997

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