Dyson cuts 900 jobs amid coronavirus impact

James Dyson.


Sir James Dyson is Britain’s richest man, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

Dyson is cutting 600 jobs in the UK and a further 300 worldwide as the coronavirus impact speeds up the company’s restructuring plans.

The firm, best known for the invention of the bag-less vacuum cleaner, said the pandemic was changing consumer habits as more people shopped online.

Dyson was founded by inventor Sir James Dyson, who in May topped the Sunday Times Rich List.

The company has a global workforce of 14,000, with 4,000 in the UK.

Most of the jobs will be lost in retail and customer service roles.

Dyson uses its own people to sell in department stores, for example at John Lewis, but the shift to online has cut necessity for a High Street presence. The jobs being lost overseas, where the company operates in 80 countries, involve similar roles.

  • Inventor Sir James Dyson tops UK Rich List

A Dyson spokesman said: “The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated changes in consumer behaviour and therefore requires changes in how we engage with our customers and how we sell our products.”

He said the company would try to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible, and emphasised that it had not furloughed any staff nor drawn on any public money to support jobs anywhere in the world during the pandemic.

Most Dyson products are designed in the UK, where it has two technology campuses in Wiltshire, but manufactured in Asia.

Electric cars

Earlier this year the company joined the fight to produce medical ventilators for the NHS, amid fears it would be overwhelmed by coronavirus.

In March the government ordered 10,000 ventilators from the company, although Sir James later told employees these were no longer needed.

The company also tried to diversify into making electric cars.

But last year, it said that although its engineers in the UK had developed a “fantastic electric car”, it would not hit the roads because it was not “commercially viable”.

Sir James, a Brexit-backing entrepreneur, launched his first vacuum cleaner in 1993. He had previously, in 1974, invented a wheelbarrow which used a spherical wheel.

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