CONSULTATION is underway on Unilever's plan to axe research and development jobs at its site in Port Sunlight.

Approximately 80 positions are understood to be under threat as part of the company's "changes to its global structure".

A Unilever spokesperson told the Globe this afternoon: "In January this year Unilever announced some organisational changes to its global structure, to make it a simpler, more category-focused business, designed to further improve performance.

"As a result of this, there are some proposed changes for management roles globally and in the UK, and we are currently consulting with impacted employees about these proposals.

"As well as making some reductions across our global and UK based workforce, we will also be investing in a number of new roles to support growth opportunities for the business.

"Our factory teams are not impacted by these changes.

"We appreciate that this is an unsettling time for those colleagues who are impacted by these proposed changes, and we will do everything we can to support them as things progress, including helping to find alternative roles internally where possible, or providing support packages including financial support, outplacement support and re-skilling where applicable."