Merck KGaA has announced plans to cut 1100 jobs in Germany – a 10% reduction in its German workforce. The job cuts will be made by the end of 2015, ‘in a socially acceptable manner, mainly through voluntary-resignation and early retirement programmes’. The company says that outsourcing jobs was considered but in the main rejected. Only 100 jobs, all either relating to routine tasks for the drug approval process or requiring considerable manual labour, will be outsourced. Meanwhile, Merck will invest €250 million (£200 million) in its headquarters at Darmstadt and other sites in Germany over the next two years. The Darmstadt site will be expanded to become an R&D ‘centre of excellence’.
Merck announced a global restructuring programme at the end of February but the details are only starting emerge now . In April, it announced that the headquarters of its pharmaceutical division Merck Serono would be moved from Geneva, Switzerland, to Darmstad.