Toyota's UK manufacturing operations have imposed a pay freeze and introduced a voluntary departure programme.

"Following a request from our employee representatives in January for the company to consider voluntary release, we have agreed to introduce a programme for employees who wish to pursue other opportunities," Toyota Manufacturing UK said in a statement on Wednesday.

"In addition, we have also confirmed that in light of the current economic climate there will be no annual salary increase for all employees or management bonus in 2009."

The company said it had held further discussions with employee representatives on Monday and Tuesday (16 and 17 February) "to look at measures to reduce labour costs, whilst making every possible effort to secure employment.

"Among the options discussed were a shorter working week for reduced pay, or the temporary suspension of employees," TMUK said, adding that no decision had been made.

"The company and employee representatives will study these options further, along with other cost reduction measures, ahead of concluding discussions at a scheduled meeting in early March."

Toyota had said at the end of last month it would hold further consultation meetings with workers in mid-February and early March before putting new cost cutting plans into place from 1 April.

Toyota UK plants mull cost cuts