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Aviva to cut 800 jobs

Union Unite has labelled the announcement ‘appalling’ and ‘totally unacceptable’

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Aviva is to cut up to 800 jobs in the coming months, the company said on Friday, as the insurer struggles to restructure its business to boost finanical performance.

Earlier this month Aviva posted a pre-tax net loss £681 million, and had to write down £876 million in goodwill and intangibles in the US business.

The cuts come as part of the insurer’s attempt to create a more agile and efficient business, but has sparked anger from the union Unite who has slammed the decision as “absolutely appalling”.

“We’ve previously outlined plans to simplify our business and make it more efficient and agile. Yesterday, we briefed our UK employees about the next stage in this process, including sharing new team structures with them," a spokeswoman for Aviva told Computerworld UK.

“The vast majority of our employees will be placed into roles with little change. Up to 800 roles could be at risk, although in practice it will be fewer than this because of natural turnover, voluntary redundancies and redeployment opportunities within Aviva. There will also be some new roles in growth areas”

Unite has said that the programme, dubbed ‘Project Simplify’, started as an attempt to cut bureaucracy and duplication at senior and middle management levels, but has turned into a major job cuts agenda across the Aviva workforce.

David Fleming, Unite national officer said: “Our members face being asked to pay the price of boardroom failure and Unite is dismayed that what started out as a shareholders' revolt on executive pay will result in a jobs cull. This is totally unacceptable."

Aviva plans to sell or close more than a quarter of its businesses in a shake-up aimed at regaining the support of investors who in May forced out chief executive Andrew Moss in protest over the group's poor stock market performance.

photo credit: Reuters


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