More than the required 195 people are understood to have applied for a voluntary severance package with Bausch & Lomb, the deadline for which was last week.

The US-owned multinational announced last month it was seeking the redundancies amongst its 1,400 strong local workforce in a bid to balance manufacturing capacity with demand for products made in Ireland due to changes in the product mix in its portfolio.

Other cost-cutting measures introduced by the eye care product manufacturer this year include short-time working at the Waterford plant, with employees working three out of four weeks every month since February. This short-time arrangement was suspended for the month of May but is due to resume in June.

The redundancy package offered by the company, which was open to all workers on all shifts as well as administrative and management staff, is understood to have been over-subscribed.

The company has said that it remains committed to maintaining the Waterford facility as a centre of manufacturing excellence. However, to ensure this, inefficiencies must be completely eliminated, a spokesperson said.