‘Voluntary time off program’ reportedly underway in Ireland, where 2,000 out of 5,000 Irish staff offered unpaid leave
Cost-cutting measures at US chip giant Intel have been revealed this week, impacting its 5,000 strong workforce in Ireland.
The Business Post first reported on Thursday that up to 2,000 staff at Intel’s Irish operation have been offered three months’ unpaid leave as part of cost-cutting measures.
According to the report, workers at Intel’s manufacturing division at Intel’s Irish plant in Kildare have been offered the unpaid leave as part of a “voluntary time off” program which is being implemented by the company.
“Voluntary time off programs allow us an opportunity to reduce short term costs and offer employees attractive time off options,” Intel told Reuters in an emailed statement, adding that manufacturing talent represents an important element of its business in Ireland.
Intel has nearly 5,000 employees across Ireland, and the American chip giant is one of Ireland’s largest employers and contributes significantly to the country’s GDP and tax collections.
But the move should come as no surprise, as it was reported in October that Intel was preparing to axe thousands of its staff, in a major headcount reduction.
Then when Intel posted its third quarter earnings results, it confirmed it would cut jobs and slow spending on new plants in an effort to save $3bn in 2023.
Intel hopes to save as much as $10bn by 2025, but it is understood that the Irish unpaid leave announcement will not impact long-term investments planned by the chipmaker.
PC market decline
Intel did have 113,700 employees worldwide (as of July 2022), and any redundancies are expected to hit mostly sales and marketing departments.
It is no secret that the PC market is currently in decline.
In October analyst house IDC confirmed this again when it reported a 15 percent year on year decline in PC shipments.
This was a confirmation of the continuing decline in PC shipments it had reported on in July.
IDC noted that “cooling demand and uneven supply have contributed to a year-over-year contraction of 15 percent.”
But now as the world emerges from Covid-19 lockdowns and schools and offices reopen, people are spending less on PCs than they did during the two plus years of the pandemic.
Intel is also dealing with soaring inflation around the world, the worsening economic outlook, Covid-19 lockdowns in China, and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine – all of which have damaged supply chains globally and dented consumer confidence, reining-in demand.