AN MP has praised British Steel for ensuring there will be no redundancies during a three week pause of production due to coronavirus.

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said he was delighted that there would be no job losses as the British Steel mill in Skinningrove pauses production after it announced last week that workers will be furloughed until production can continue due to the economic downturn.

British Steel CEO Ron Deelen said that they company had formed "robust and flexible plans" to protect employees, customers and suppliers.

He said that whilst employees in predominantly in office-based roles had been working from home, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, some of the high skill workers involved in the manufacturing side of things would have to remain on sites, but strict safety measures had been put in place.

These include reducing production, social distancing where practicable, providing face masks, producing their own hand sanitiser gel and starting temperature checks for both employees and people visiting the sites.

Mr Clarke praised British Steel for acting responsibly by assuring the futures of employees during the temporary shutdown.

Mr Clarke said: “This is a sensible package of measures by British Steel as they negotiate a very uncertain economic period.

"I am delighted there will be no redundancies. These are the actions of a responsible employer and the unions have also engaged very constructively.

“The Special Profiles site will be maintained at high readiness to resume production at short notice, as and when stockpiles of finished stock are run down.

“The Government continues to focus on ending this crisis as soon as possible. In the meantime, we must all play our part by observing the social distancing guidelines and ensuring we stop the spread of the virus.

"By doing so, we will emerge sooner rather than later, and get our economy and society back off the pause button.”

It is understood that production at the site will be paused for a minimum of three weeks with plans to restart production after that depending on the situation at that time.

Meanwhile, the Caterpillar and Terracotta Industries sites at Skinningrove will continue to operate normally as both have enough stock to continue production.