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Highlands' biggest private employer to shed jobs after Covid-19 crisis adds pressure on firm

By Calum MacLeod

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One of the biggest employers in the Highlands has warned of potential job losses.

LifeScan in Inverness said the "necessary" decision was a result of the impact of the coronavirus crisis and changes in the medical sector.

The medical research and production facility, is to carry out a consultation with around 10 per cent of its workforce, with around half of them expected to be made redundant consequently.

According to latest company accounts publicly available, for 2018, the firm employs around 947 people, suggesting up to 50 jobs could go.

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey MP Drew Hendry has already been in talks with the company, but warned that the job losses would be a massive blow to workers and their families.

Lifescan, which produces glucose testing strips and electronic meters for use in the treatment of diabetes, has been a major employer in the city since opening in 1995 as Inverness Medical. Six years later it became part of the global Johnson & Johnson group and two years ago was bought by Platinum Equity in a £1.57 billion takeover.

It is the largest private sector employer in the Highlands.

A statement from the business said that while LifeScan remained committed to its Inverness facility, it was necessary to make some adjustments to its on-site functions to meet the needs of its patients and customers.

A LifeScan spokeswoman said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had “amplified” pressures, but the company was following due process in consulting with staff.

It is understood office roles are the main area being targeted by the medical research company.

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