POOLE’S cosmetics maker Lush says it will have room for 300 fewer workers in its factories after implementing social distancing.

The firm – one of the town’s biggest employers – says there will be less day shift work available than normal but it expects to have more demand on night and “twilight” shifts.

The company says it is not making redundancies and may need to recruit some new staff to handle Christmas production.

Lush revealed that it had made 15 of its 3,955 UK staff redundant since February.

It said: “Having suspended future non-essential capital investment, such as new shops and relocations, and not expecting business travel and large company events to return any time soon, the teams working in property & design and travel & events were most affected. We will continue to review things and work out the best shape for the future as time goes by.

“We have been incredibly grateful for the government furlough scheme, which meant we could retain and pay staff while all of our UK stores and nearly all our stores globally were closed.

“At one point during lockdown we had over 650 of our 700-plus manufacturing staff in Poole furloughed and while we continue to look at the best structures needed for our business, we have now brought the majority of those back. We have also seen some of our manufacturing team move across to digital fulfilment to help meet the demand there.

“Social distancing measures in place in our manufacturing buildings currently reduces the total number of staff we can safely have working on the same shift from 955 staff to 637 staff. As a result we will have less day shift work available than is usual at this time of year but we are anticipating an increased requirement for staff who can work twilight and night shifts.

“With nearly all of our stores now open and high levels of demand in our online business, we may still need to recruit some extra hands in manufacturing to handle our Christmas production.”

Lush reports on coronavirus, Brexit and recession fears

In annual accounts published recently, Lush said it expected business to improve – but warned there could be “jobageddon” if another lockdown was imposed.

It saw revenues around the world fall by 55 per cent in the three months to the end of May and most of its 928 shops worldwide were forced to close at some point.

In his annual report, chief executive Mark Constantine said: “We think that it’s highly likely that trade will be brisk until Christmas. After all, it is unlikely that many consumers will be able to go on a foreign holiday and probably won’t fancy sitting on a plane for a while.

“If you are still worrying about the virus or, like many of us, habituated to being safe indoors you stay home, read a book, eat chocolate and take a bath, washing your hair and using a face mask.”