Luxury British boatbuilder, Fairline Yachts has announced tonight (Tuesday, March 31) it is scaling back its operations due to the unprecedented situation arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The East Northants firm was one of many locally that had faced local criticism for staying open amid the crisis, with workers saying it was impossible for them to work two metres apart and complaining that their health was being put at risk for a non-essential business.
But now the boatbuilder says it is following advice from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the UK Government and furloughing 340 of its workers from tomorrow morning (April 1) for an initial period of three weeks.
The firm says this will be ‘reviewed and adjusted as the situation develops’.
All 340 furloughed employees are retained on Fairline’s payroll and remain employed.
As part of a package of government measures to keep the economy afloat, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said two weeks ago that 80 per cent of furloughed workers’ wages would be paid by the state.
A skeleton team comprising of boat builders and a limited number of back office support roles will continue working on current boats in build.
The company said all staff working at the factory are adhering to new safeguarding measures. These include implementing social distancing with employees working within their own workstations and keeping at least 2m away from others, breaks have been staggered to ensure maintaining safe distances is possible and Fairline’s strict cleaning procedures have been enhanced to ensure there is continuous deep cleaning of the factory in place at all times.
Peter McNulty, Chief Operating Officer at Fairline Yachts said: “We’d like to thank our staff for their continued support during this challenging period.
”Protecting their health and safety is our key concern, along with supporting our global dealer network and customers. By furloughing the majority of our team now, we can weather the storm and safeguard these skilled roles for the future – ensuring we are well prepared for the inevitable bounce-back once restrictions are lifted.”