Aviva scales down job cuts plan

 

Financial services company Aviva has revised a redundancy plan which would have seen almost 1,000 staff leave the company.

Instead of reducing the workforce in its Irish operations by 770, the company said it now plans to make between 500 and 550 people redundant.

Separately, it is also planning to create 220 new posts in Galway in claims insurance and direct sales. Recruitment for these posts will begin in the summer.

Last October the firm said it planned to reduce staff levels by 950 and 180 employees have already left Aviva Europe. In net terms the level of redundancies will be 450 fewer than announced last year.

Following an agreement between staff and unions, staff leaving Aviva will receive a voluntary redundancy package worth six weeks pay per year of service.

Sean Egan, chief executive of Aviva Group Ireland, said the company was able to secure the required cost savings with a lower level of job cuts.

Unite trade union confirmed it reached agreement "in principle" with Aviva on the reduced number of voluntary redundancies.

“We remain disappointed at the loss of jobs...but there has been a reduction in the number of positions being made redundant from an original 770 to a figure now of 540,” said Unite's Brian Gallagher.

“In addition we are pleased to have secured an initial 220 new positions in Galway as well as maintaining strong existing bases in Dublin and Cork.”

Staff leaving the company will do so on a voluntary basis with agreement reached in principle that the redundancy package will be six weeks per year of service, the union said. Those leaving would also receive a personal retraining allowance valued at €8,000 each.

Unite members are to be balloted on the terms with the union recommending acceptance.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton welcomed the decision, although he said a large number of Aviva staff were still facing redundancy. “The news that the number of job losses will be substantially lower than originally announced is very welcome. I am also happy to welcome the news that the company is creating 220 jobs in a new operation in Galway”.