JCB employees in Wrexham are set to be affected by a reduction in production levels amid the coronavirus outbreak in China.

It comes amid anticipated component shortages from Chinese suppliers impacted by the outbreak of the virus, the company announced on Thursday.

The move, which affects about 400 employees at JCB's two factories in Wrexham, will mean a shorter working week for shop floor employees from Monday (February 17).

This follows an immediate suspension of all overtime, the company said.

The measures have been "discussed" with union representatives and will see the introduction of a 34-hour week for UK production employees until further notice. J

CB employees will be paid for a 39-hour week and will bank the hours, working them back later in the year.

JCB Chief Operating Officer Mark Turner said: “The disruption to the component supply chain in the UK comes at a time when demand for JCB products is very strong, so while this course of action is very unfortunate, it is absolutely necessary to protect the business and our skill base.

“Production in the UK has so far been unaffected by the situation in China. However, more than 25 per cent of JCB’s suppliers in China remain closed and those that have reopened are working at reduced capacity and are struggling to make shipments. It is therefore clear that the inbound supply of certain components from Chinese partners will be disrupted in the coming weeks as they seek to replenish their stocks. This inevitably means we will not have the required amount of parts needed to build our forecast number of machines in the short term.”

Mr Turner added: “These measures will ensure that, while we will produce machines in lower than anticipated numbers, we will do so with the same number of employees, whose skills we will need to fulfil customers’ orders when the situation returns to normal. We are keeping the situation under review and we anticipate a surge in production levels once this period of supply disruption has passed.”

GMB Union, the union for JCB workers, was approached for comment.