Windows firm seeks redundancies due to ‘significantly reduced sales’

Dave Jones

Burnley-based uPVC window system company VEKA is to launch a consultation process which could result in job losses, it warned today.

The company is understood to employ approximately 400 staff.

In March this year VEKA said it made the difficult decision to temporarily close operations in the UK and place most of its staff on furlough due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having reopened on May 11, albeit in a controlled and scaled manner to fulfil a returning demand from customers, it said it has become clear in recent weeks that the business is not going to bounce back to pre COVID-19 levels and, as such, action must be taken to rescale the business in light of significantly reduced sales.

Managing director, Dave Jones, said: “VEKA plc has taken a number of actions over the past months to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, from arranging financial support to putting all non-essential spend on indefinite hold.

“However, upon our return on the 11th May and speaking with our customer base over recent weeks, we have identified some significant customer losses – one of whom went into administration just last week which will have a substantial impact on our business.”

VEKA started the process yesterday (June 15), initially looking to establish an employee-elected committee responsible for taking group redundancy consultations, and from there VEKA said it will follow the process as set out by relevant employment law rules and regulations.

“Having taken all available options to us to ensure our business remains sustainable, we are now forced to take a more prudent approach to all company expenditure and to review the resource requirements in light of this predicted drop in sales,” said Mr Jones.

“That said, at this stage we cannot confirm exact numbers of potential redundancies, however, we will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis throughout the process.

“This is not the year we, the board of directors, had planned for VEKA plc in 2020 and we are disappointed that COVID-19 has had such an impact on our economy, industry and business, despite the strong support packages from the Government, and saddened that this will ultimately result in losing valued employees.”

Just over two years ago the German family-owned firm announced plans to invest around £5m in its Burnley plant to increase production and finishing capacity.