Tough times for Dyson

1 min read

The news that Dyson is planning to cut a third of its UK workforce as part of a global shake-up is being described as a blow to the Labour government’s plans to drive economic growth through increased business investment.

Credit: egroy -

The company has said that the cuts were necessary to ensure that it was “prepared for the future” amid what it called “increasingly fierce and competitive global markets”.

Dyson currently has 3,500 UK employees, with offices in Wiltshire, Bristol and London and its CEO Hanno Kirner said that the company needed to be more "entrepreneurial and agile".

Set up by James Dyson the company moved its head office to Singapore in 2019 in order to be closer to its key Asian markets, which account for more than half of its sales.

The business remains profitable, despite increased competition, while Dyson has increased its research and development spending by 40% over the past 12 months.

Dyson has said that the UK would "remain a vital centre" for the company’s research and development (R&D) and its Dyson Institute currently has 160 undergraduate engineers.

But from comments made by employees to the BBC it appears that far from Dyson looking to retain R&D capabilities in the UK it looks likely that he’ll move that to Singapore too.

Dyson has denied any plans to close R&D here in the UK, but ‘Sir’ James has spoken at length about the UK’s ‘woeful policies’, for example high corporation tax, and his preference for “modern, forward-looking economies elsewhere” that encourage growth and innovation – i.e. low tax, low regulation and employees who are cheaper to employ!

Whatever happens in the future questions have been raised about the company’s commitment to the UK, ever since it moved its headquarters to Singapore.

Speaking to the BBC Prof Andrew Graves, a mechanical engineer and political scientist from the University of Bath, said that the move was not a surprise considering the level of competition Dyson products were faced with.

He also made the point that a lot of recent Dyson products really haven’t been very successful and along with a failed EV project and poor sales, the company is having to fighting on a number of fronts.

So, perhaps, James Dyson should be taking a look at how he’s been running the business himself rather than blaming UK policymakers.