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JCB is is to continue the suspension of its UK production line until at least the end of April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm’s nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham closed on 18 March as disruption resulting from coronavirus caused what it described as an unprecedented reduction in global demand.

JCB Telescopic Handlers on the production line at the JCB world headquarters in Rocester, England

JCB said that the vast majority of its 6,500 workforce will stop working until at least the end of April. It said that during this period, all affected employees would be paid 80% of their basic pay, while senior JCB directors will not be taking a salary from the company until further notice.

Chief executive Graeme Macdonald said: “These are certainly unprecedented times and none of us expected to find ourselves in this situation. ”

JCB also intends to make an application to the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help offset the cost of its support of employees. The government scheme pays 80% of an employee’s salary up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.