Aviva jobs at risk as insurer undergoes restructuring

Up to 800 jobs could be lost by the end of the year as new chairman embarks on radical overhaul to save £400m

Up to 800 jobs are at risk at insurer Aviva, whose new chairman John McFarlane has embarked on a radical overhaul of the business. The restructuring, aimed at saving £400m, will dispose of 16 businesses and strip away management layers from nine to five levels.

Having consulted the Unite union, the company sent an internal email to staff at the UK life business in York on Thursday, telling them that the jobs of 70% would be safe. Of the 30% who have not had their roles confirmed, some will lose their jobs, an Aviva spokeswoman said.

“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.”

The job losses, which will be spread across the UK businesses, will come by the end of the year. The UK life insurance business employs 3,000 people, out of Aviva’s total workforce of 18,500 across the UK.

The news angered Unite, whose national officer David Fleming 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 has been without a chief executive since Andrew Moss was ousted by shareholders in a revolt over executive pay in May.

Aviva reported a loss after tax of more than £680m for the first half of the year, after writing down the value of its US business.

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