Bedford-based Brewery Wells & Young’s has announced proposals to axe up to 13 jobs in a restructure of the company.
Wells & Young’s, the brewing division of Charles Wells Ltd has announced a proposal to restructure its production operations next year.
The proposed restructure would mean that up to 13 roles would be made redundant within the production department as the organisation reviews its shift patterns.
Managing director at Wells & Young’s Justin Phillimore said: “We understand that this is an unsettling time for those staff affected by the proposed changes, and this is not a decision we have taken lightly.
“We have reviewed all areas of the business to identify other efficiency savings, however ultimately the number of staff and shift pattern in production areas must reflect the manufacturing demand of the brewery.
“We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact by offering voluntary redundancies wherever possible and ensuring that appropriate support and advice is available to those affected.”
The proposal is to move away from its current continental shift pattern which covers 24 hours a day, seven days a week to a similar five-day shift pattern.
This would mean losing one shift from rotation at the Bedford-based brewery, effective from summer 2014.
The proposed change is due to decreased manufacturing demand which is the impact of a number of factors including the economic environment, an increasingly competitive market and the loss of a production contract to brew and package Red Stripe lager, which ends in summer 2014.
Wells & Young’s will now enter into a consultation process with staff directly affected by these changes and the Union, and will offer a voluntary redundancy programme to minimise the need for compulsory redundancies in production areas.
In other parts of the business, a restructure in central services departments has also seen two roles put at risk and staff are currently being consulted as part of a separate process.
In addition to these announcements Charles Wells Ltd has also informed staff that it will be reviewing its final salary pension scheme in 2014 and will be consulting with staff and the Union on its proposal which will affect approximately 25% of employees.
Justin added: ““Although we will all be sorry to see the brewing of Red Stripe finally leave Bedford in July 2014 after 38 years here, the move marks a new era for the brewery as it means that for the first time at the Eagle Brewery 98 per cent of the beer we brew will be for our own brands.
“As we look to the future, we have a strong portfolio of interesting new beers in the pipeline that we will be bringing to the market over the next 12 months to complement our existing range.”