Intel Ireland Cost Cutting Drive: 2,000 Employees Offered Unpaid Leave

Intel’s Leixlip campus
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has seemingly offered thousands of its staff in Ireland the opportunity to take a lengthy spell of unpaid leave. According to reports, up to 2,000 of the 5,000 staff at Intel’s Leixlip campus have been presented with the option of three months unpaid leave. This Irish news comes hot on the heels of Intel worldwide layoff plans, announced back in October. Intel says the unpaid leave option is being presented as it is keen to retain talented staff.

The unpaid leave approach is going to help Intel with its long-term growth by retaining talent, yet paring costs, reasoned Intel in a statement. “Voluntary time off programs allow us an opportunity to reduce short term costs and offer employees attractive time off options,” said Intel in a statement seen by RTE. "Manufacturing talent represents an important element of our business here in Ireland."

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that he has been assured by a senior Intel exec that Intel remains committed to Ireland, and that he believes that the current spate of cost cutting is a “short-term measure,” on a long term investment path. Indeed, with a rosier long-term future in mind, Intel announced back in March that it had spent $5B on commissioning a new Intel 4 (AKA Intel 7nm) fabrication plant at the site in Leixlip, with a further $12B spending earmarked for preparing the fab until the end of 2023. It also recently confirmed sizable investments in mainland Europe and the US.

The slowdown in the PCs and semiconductor industry is a well established trend in H2 2022. Many companies, including Intel, have already published financials which highlight the need to reduce costs. However, the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry is well known, and cutting too deep could mean that a company may be ill-prepared for the next boom. As long as a company has got the resources, it makes sense to cut back where possible without going too far and impacting the ability to bounce back.

Intel’s Leixlip campus

(Image credit: Intel)

We don’t have the precise details of the three months unpaid leave option. Aspects such as the timing of the leave period are therefore unknown, for example. Also, we can’t say that Intel’s Irish business will be immune from layoffs, and the take-up of voluntary unpaid leave options might have an impact on subsequent employee-focussed announcements. Whatever the case, Intel Ireland is looking to make savings to contribute to the company’s global plan to reduce costs by $10B per annum globally by 2025. Moreover, at the time of writing it looks like Intel has decided to focus on making personnel savings, while continuing to spend big on industrial assets.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • hotaru251
    imagine you are 46th ranked fortune 500 company and rather give ur "talented workers you want to retain" 3 months unpaid leave rather than soak up the loss...
    Reply
  • neojack
    "soaking up the loss" may see them fall in the 47th place though so that's why ahah
    Reply
  • joestein514
    If they cared about retaining their employees - they could offer 3 months leave at half pay.

    I am guessing they are not that interested in retaining these 2000 employees. The ones they want to retain will not be offered unpaid leave.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    joestein514 said:
    If they cared about retaining their employees - they could offer 3 months leave at half pay.

    I am guessing they are not that interested in retaining these 2000 employees. The ones they want to retain will not be offered unpaid leave.
    This. The ones they have offered the leave are probably going to be fired anyway at some point.

    this is merely the writing on the wall to let them know to go get new jobs on their three months off
    Reply
  • kjfatl
    I worked for a company who's business was somewhat seasonal. They did this every year with production workers. Many of the older workers actually loved this, not much different that school teachers who have the summer off. Most of those taking leave were the older workers, allowing space for the younger workers with young families to have continual employment.
    Reply