Saturday, May 25, 2024

More than 400 jobs at risk as Haleon closes Maidenhead site

Must read

A global consumer health company with a facility in Maidenhead is due to close down its Norreys Drive operation – putting more than 400 jobs at risk.

Though the company, Haleon, has only existed since 2022, it is the result of the combination of three consumer health businesses – GSK, Novartis and Pfizer – over the last decade.

It demerged from GSK two years ago to become a separate stand-alone company.

Haleon’s brands include Panadol, Advil, Sensodyne and other internationally well-known medicines and health products.

The Maidenhead site has been in operation for about 65 years, when back in the late 50s, it was brought into the precursor companies. It has a long history under GSK, Smithkline Beecham and others.

But now the site is standing down its lines and transferring them to Levice, Slovakia, where Haleon has its main oral health manufacturing hub.

In a statement, the company said:

“Following a strategic review of our global manufacturing capabilities, we have determined that our Maidenhead site is no longer a viable option for the manufacture of our products.

“We have therefore taken the difficult decision to begin a phased closure of the site over a two-year period, subject to consultation.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and our priority is to ensure that the people impacted are supported through this process.

“This is an important step on Haleon’s journey to creating a more agile, effective consumer health organisation, with an efficient global supply chain network that can deliver the right capacity and agility to meet the requirements of our consumers.”

The company says the site can only be upgraded effectively with a physical expansion – and it is not possible to do that at Norreys Drive as it is a very ‘hemmed in’ location.

The 435 members of staff at the site were briefed yesterday (April 29). Two thirds of the employees are from Berkshire or Bucks and their jobs are now at risk.

Haleon continues to have a ‘substantial presence’ in the UK, investing more than £130million in a new ‘state-of-the-art, globally significant’ oral health R&D facility in Weybridge, but it is a significantly different kind of facility to the Maidenhead one.

As well as a financial package for those losing their jobs, the company is planning on-site job fairs, CV and interview assistance, and the opportunity for staff to grow their skill set and transfer to other parts of the business.

It will take two years to stand down the lines in Maidenhead and transfer them to Levice, Slovakia.

Latest article