Up to 2,000 employees of Intel’s Irish division have been given the option of three months’ unpaid leave as part of cost-cutting efforts, the Business Post reported on Thursday.

The unpaid leave has reportedly been made available to Intel’s manufacturing division employees as part of the company’s “voluntary time off” initiative.

In an email to Reuters, Intel said that voluntary time off programs allow the company to minimize short-term expenses and offer staff appealing time off choices.

Intel added that manufacturing skills are a key component of its business in Ireland. The Irish division employs more than 5,000 workers.

Intel expects lower full-year profits

The offer comes as the chipmaker lowered its full-year profit and sales projections in October. Intel issued a layoff warning and announced various cost reductions in light of macroeconomic concerns.

At the time, the company’s share price rose by 5 percent in after-hours trading. The PC division had performed better than expected.

The jump wasn’t enough to make up for the 47 percent decline suffered this year. Intel lags behind the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor and S&P 500 indices.

‘People actions’ have arrived

Intel reduced this year’s $27 billion capital expenditure prediction to $25 billion. When asked whether employees should fear layoffs, CEO Pat Gelsinger told Reuters that “people actions” would be a part of the cost-cutting strategy. According to Intel, $3 billion in cost savings will be achieved in 2023.

He stated that the changes would be implemented in the fourth quarter, but did not indicate how many staff would be impacted.

Intel had 110,600 workers when Gelsinger became CEO in late 2020. That number had risen to 131,500 by the beginning of October this year. The future of Intel’s PC and datacenter divisions, two of the company’s most significant assets, has been clouded by macroeconomic challenges.

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