Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Aviva reduces redundancy numbers

Aviva is to cut fewer jobs than planned, it has been announced

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has praised staff, management and unions at Aviva after a deal was struck to slash its redundancy plan by more than 200 jobs.

The financial services and insurance firm announced 950 redundancies company-wide last year, with 770 from the Irish operation.

But the organisation confirmed that only between 500 and 550 jobs will go, all of which it plans to be voluntary redundancies.

Mr Bruton welcomed Aviva's efforts to create 220 positions at a centre in Galway, saying it is evidence of the firm's commitment to Ireland.

He said: "A large number of people in Aviva will be made voluntarily redundant as part of this process and are still facing a very difficult situation this morning. However, the news that the number of job losses will be substantially lower than originally announced is very welcome."

Staff, who will be informed of the details later, will be offered redundancy packages with six weeks' pay per year of service, capped at two-and-a-half years.

Chief executive of Aviva's Irish operations Sean Egan said Aviva remained committed to Ireland given its talent and skills base. He also confirmed recruitment for the 220 Galway jobs will take place over the summer.

Unite's Brian Gallagher said the redundancy deal means those who want to leave can go under reasonable terms. "All in all, it's reasonable," Mr Gallagher told RTE. "It should be enough to achieve those losses by voluntary means. It's much better news than we had in October."

The company said that under the revised cost-cutting measures, staff will not be hit with across-the-board cuts to basic salaries but a performance-related wage scheme is planned. Aviva said in a statement there would be a maximum of 540 voluntary redundancies over two years. The company also said that any future pay progression for staff at all levels will be linked to merit, skills, experience and performance.

Mr Egan said: "Job losses will regrettably occur and I know from talking with employees that this has been an uncertain time for everyone. We have agreed good terms and our aim is to ensure that all redundancies will be achieved through voluntary means." Aviva's Irish workforce will stay above 1,000 following the redundancy plan.

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