Thousands of staff at tech giant Intel's Irish plant in Kildare have been offered up to three months' unpaid leave as the company looks to cut costs.
The company in recent months has indicated it will cut thousands of jobs globally due to inflation and the slowdown of the personal computer market.
It is understood the offer is being made to workers in the company's manufacturing division where the majority of the tech giant's 5,000 Irish staff work. Intel is one of Ireland's biggest employers and contributes significantly to the country's GDP and tax take.
Following its earnings result in October the company said it would cut jobs and slow spending on new plants in an effort to save $3bn (€2.84bn) next year. The hope is to save as much as $10bn by 2025, as first reported in the Business Post.
In a statement to thethe company said: "During our recent earnings call, we announced significant steps to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, while mindfully protecting the investments needed to accelerate our transformation and position us 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. Manufacturing talent represents an important element of our business here in Ireland."
It is understood that today's announcement will not impact long-term investments planned by the chipmaker.
In March Intel announced it was investing a further €12bn into its operations in Ireland, on top of the €5bn previously announced for the facility, bringing the overall investment by Intel in its site in Leixlip to €30bn.
It is not yet known whether the Department of Enterprise or its minister, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, have been alerted to the offer.