Hundreds of agency staff at Jaguar Land Rover will be axed before Christmas, it has officially been confirmed.

Last month, BirminghamLive reported how up to 400 agency workers were to leave the UK car giant as the manufacturing of its Discovery model moves to Slovakia.

It has since been reported how sales plummeted once more in China , falling by 50 per cent.

An initial briefing outlining a huge cull in agency workers was announced on November 29.

On Wednesday (December 12), though, both JLR and DHL employees received letters outlining changes.

A leaked DHL document obtained by BirminghamLive outlined how "Solihull will need to reduce staffing levels by 250+ operators" with workers expected to be told their fate by Friday, December 21 at the very latest.

DHL staff at Tyrefort in Erdington and Midpoint in Minworth are also set for the axe with Tyrefort told to reduce its staffing levels by 100+ while, at Midpoint, 30+ jobs are to go.

The briefing document sent out to DHL staff at JLR can be read in full below

DHL briefing announcement as 400 workers facing axe at Jaguar Land Rover

12 December 2018

Solihull Production Realignment

Following JLR's announcement on Thursday 29th November regarding production changes at Solihull and our briefing to you last Friday, as promised, we now have more information to share with you today.

We are now able to update all colleagues on the impact that these changes will have on our DHL operations.

In summary, the changes are:

  • FA1 reduction in jobs per hour
  • FA2 changing from 3-shift operations to 2-shift operations from week 4, 2019
  • The temporary closure of bodyshop 2 in Q1 (actual date to be confirmed)
  • Bodyshop 1 to move to 4-shift operations from week 6, 2019

Regrettably this means that our DHL operation at Solihull will need to reduce staffing levels by @250+ operators — we will confirm actual numbers we work through each change.

This will be achieved by a phased reduction of agency workers across all of the DHL Solihull operations over a period of time from week 4, 2019.

We have asked the agencies involved to adopt a fair basis for selection based on attendance, conduct and skills.

In addition, those remaining in FA2 (agency and DHL) will revert to 2-shift working (days and back shifts) and will be paid the appropriate shift premium.

While we are required to provide one week's notice of this change, this announcement provides more than the necessary notice to all concerned of the shift pattern change.

We will consult with Unite the Union on how these changes will affect DHL employees.

In due course, once we have achieved operational stability following these changes, DHL employees in FA2 may be able to transfer to another part of Solihull operations and work other shift patterns while they apply and be paid the appropriate rate.

This will be subject to availability, suitability and attendance.

Any employees on a flexible working agreement that is appropriate for the 2-shit pattern in FA2 will be required to transfer to FA2 from week 4.

DHL employees with any questions should refer them to their line manager, while agency workers should contact their agency.

The necessary changes announced by JLR will also affect our Tyrefort and Midpoint sites.

Tyrefort will need to reduce its staffing levels by @100+ and Midpoint will reduce by @30+ (again we will confirm actual numbers as we work through each change).

In line with the arrangements detailed above, this will be achieved through a reduction in agency workers over a phased period following week 4, 2019.

We will ask the agencies concerned to use a similar criteria to that outlined earlier for Solihull.

Further updates will follow as detailed plans re confirmed and rolled out. However, we are committed to ensuring that everyone will know how they will be affected no later than Friday 21 December 2018.

The Company appreciates that this is a difficult time for everyone and we would like to thank everyone for your continued support in providing a great service to JLR.

Other details outlined by DHL include a reduction in shifts for FA2 workers, from three to two while, elsewhere, bodyshop 1 at Solihull will move to four-shift operations from week 6, 2019.

JLR-contracted employees were also briefed on Wednesday, confirming how "logistics partner DHL will be making some necessary changes to their operation".

The announcement said: "As a result, DHL is informing their employees today that there will sadly be a reduced requirement for staffing against current levels at Solihull, Tyrefort and Midpoint."

A spokesman for JLR confirmed that agency staffing has had to be scaled down.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: "Following Jaguar Land Rover’s recent announcement of production changes at Solihull, we have been obliged to rebalance our operation at Solihull by approximately 250 operators.

"This will be achieved through a phased reduction of agency workers across our Solihull operation in early 2019.

"At our Tyrefort and Midpoint sites we will also need to reduce staffing levels by approximately 100 and 30 respectively.

"Again, this will be achieved through a reduction in agency workers over a phased period starting early next year.

"We recognise that this is a difficult time for all concerned and thank everyone for their continued commitment to providing great service to our customer."