Rolls-Royce cut its working week to three days last week to avoid job cuts
and retain staff.
Nearly a third of its 2,500 Crewe-based production staff started a three-day
week on full pay due to plummeting sales following 11 September.
The programme, known as time banking, allows staff to work reduced hours on
full pay with the proviso that they make up these hours when the luxury car
market picks up.
Christine Gaskell, member of the board personnel at Rolls-Royce and Bentley,
said, "The workforce is our most important resource so it is important
that we manage them correctly, not least for motivational and retention
"Our system must be the way forward. By keeping hold of the workforce
and protecting their way of life without having to resort to a 20 per cent pay
cut and a reduction in hours."
The company hopes to re-introduce full-time working in the New Year when a
new Bentley model will be launched. It also hopes to create 500 additional jobs
as the Cheshire plant’s production increases from 1,500 to 9,000 cars a year.
Gaskell said, "We believe that this is the way to manage these
difficult situations and minimise the distress of our employees.
"The unions and our staff also believe that is a good system, as there
are no job losses and no loss of money. They have families to keep and houses
to run so they want to carry on their lives as normally as possible."
Since the terrorist attacks, US sales, which account for almost half the
cars made at the factory, have fallen by more than 60 per cent.
By Paul Nelson