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Intel offers Irish staff a three-month break from being paid

Chipmaker confirms 'voluntary time-off programs' part of push to reduce costs

Chipmaker Intel is offering staff in Ireland the opportunity to take three months' leave from their jobs, with the catch being that it is unpaid. The move is part of cost saving measures at the company.

According to various reports in the Irish media, thousands of workers at Intel's manufacturing plant in Leixlip, County Kildare, were offered three months' voluntary unpaid leave in a bid to lower overheads.

The move follows Intel's announcement in October that it planned to lay off an unspecified number of employees worldwide, and even ditch some product lines, in response to a worsening economic situation. These plans are part of a massive reduction in spending, with Intel looking slash $3 billion annually starting next year and by between $8 billion and $10 billion by 2025.

However, this isn't going to stop the chipmaker from continuing to invest in building new chip manufacturing plants, as Intel confirmed this week when the company reiterated its commitment to manufacturing expansions in the US and in Europe that are set to cost billions of dollars.

In an official statement sent to The Register, Intel said it was taking steps to reduce costs and improve efficiencies detailed during its recent earnings call, while protecting the investments needed to position the company for long-term growth.

"Retaining our manufacturing talent is a key element of positioning Intel for long-term growth. Voluntary time-off programs allow us an opportunity to reduce short-term costs and offer employees attractive time off options," the statement continued.

That recent earnings call revealed that during the three months ended September 30, Intel's revenue was down 20 percent year-on-year to $15.3 billion, while its net income also declined 85 percent to $1 billion.

Intel's Leixlip campus is located on the site of a former stud farm and is understood to employ more than 4,500 people. It had previously undergone an upgrade project that turned the site into a key location for producing chips using Intel's 14nm process technology.

Earlier this year, Intel said that it was planning to spend an additional €12 billion ($12.6 billion) on doubling the manufacturing space at Leixlip in order to bring Intel 4 process technology, previously known as Intel's 7nm process, to Europe as well as to expand its foundry services. ®

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