More than 2,500 workers at JCB, the construction equipment manufacturer, have opted to accept a pay cut and work a four-day week to save jobs.

It is the latest example of manufacturers seeking alternatives to mass redundancies. Most of the big car manufacturers have introduced short-time working following big falls in sales.

EEF, the employers’ trade association, reported last week that almost 10 per cent of manufacturing companies had deferred wage rises this summer in an attempt to control costs and avoid cutting jobs.

The proportion of companies postponing rises was the highest for five years. There had also been a slight rise in the level of pay freezes, it said.

Workers at seven JCB plants voted by more than two to one to accept short time working to save 350 jobs, their union, GMB, said.

Financial times, The Times