Jobs at risk at Norwich Union

| October 18, 2007 | 0 Comments

Aviva, the parent company of Norwich Union, is proposing to cut £300 million in costs over the next 2 years which will lead to job losses.

Aviva’s new chief executive, Andrew Moss, said the savings target is part of a push of new group business targets presented to investors in New York. He added that it would be naive to say there will not be any redundancies and said savings will be attained by a variety of measures, not just by cutting jobs.

At the New York investor day, Aviva promised to increase new business sales of long-term savings in the UK. It said this must not come at the expense of margins so Aviva can remain the number one player in the market. In Europe, the proposal is to increase sales of long-term savings by no less than 10% a year over the next 3 years.

Aviva announced an 8% decline in interim operating profits to £1.54 billion in August as its UK arm was hit by losses from the summer floods.

The plans to cut jobs provoked an angry response from unions as it was previously announced that the group would make 4,000 redundancies.

The national secretary at Unite, Andy Case, said his union was “angry and disappointed” and is attempting to secure a commitment to no compulsory redundancies at a meeting with senior management planned for the middle of next week.

Mr Case added that staff are obviously unsure of their future, even though there is no mention of actual job losses as yet, staff are still upset from the previous losses.

Norwich Union employs 30,000 of Aviva’s total 32,000 staff in the UK, including 7,000 at its regional centre in Norwich, East Anglia. Workers in York, Sheffield, Southampton and Perth in Scotland are also likely to be affected.

A spokesman for Norwich Union said initial losses are likely to be in IT and marketing although it is too soon to speculate. Some vacancies in administration and call centres are likely to be withdrawn, the spokesperson concluded.

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