Doncaster plastics firm Polypipe to axe 250 jobs due to Covid-19 crisis

One of Doncaster’s biggest employers is to axe 250 jobs because of the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 10:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 10:04 am

Edlington-based plastics firm Polypipe says it needs to cut its workforce by eight per cent after being hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Polypipe said that its sales had improved post lockdown, with June 2020 revenues 30% below June 2019 levels compared to 66% below in April.

“However, at this stage we remain cautious as to whether this performance will be sustained into the autumn and winter,” it said in a statement issued this morning.

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Polypipe is planning to axe 250 jobs.

“We are currently manufacturing at all main sites at varying levels of capacity utilisation, and currently have 25% of our workforce furloughed, compared to 61% at the height of the crisis.

“Medium-term economic and industry forecasts show a significant impact from the Covid-19 outbreak on both the wider UK economy and specifically the UK construction industry.

“Latest forecasts from the Construction Products Association show that residential new build demand in 2021 is likely to be 20% lower than 2019 levels, Housing RMI 15% lower than 2019 levels, and commercial demand 18% lower than 2019 levels, even with recovery in the second half of 2021.

“In light of this medium-term outlook, we are taking regrettable but necessary steps to adjust our manning levels and cost base to reflect this level of demand.

“Unfortunately, it means that we are entering a consultation period with our employees to review these steps, which if actioned in full, will lead to the loss of approximately 250 jobs or 8% of the workforce.”

The firm manufactures plastic piping systems for use in the residential, commercial, civil and infrastructure sectors.

The piping systems are used for a variety of applications including drainage, plumbing, water supply, water management, cable management, heating and ventilation.

The company was established by former plumber Kevin McDonald and Geoff Harrison in 1980 and made a number of European acquisitions before being bought by IMI for £337m in 1999, a deal which earned Mr McDonald £56 million.

The head office is in Broomhouse Lane, Edlington with other bases in Glasgow, Loughborough, Horncastle, Aylesford, Caerphilly, Rochdale, Birmingham, Ripley as well as Italy and Dubai.