Aviva to Cut 1,800 Jobs Amid Business Overhaul


June 2019

Aviva to Cut 1,800 Jobs Amid Business Overhaul

UK insurance giant Aviva has announced it will cut 1,800 jobs over the next three years in order to cut costs.

Aviva is the largest insurance provider in the UK with over 16,000 staff employed across the country, out of a total global workforce of around 30,000. The firm is based in Norwich, where it employs over 5,000 staff, and has other sites in London, Bristol, York, Sheffield, Dorking, Glasgow and Perth. Aviva has around 33 million customers worldwide and provides insurance to around a quarter of British households.

The job cuts are part of a plan to overhaul the company and to save up to £300 million a year. The announcement comes just three months after the appointment of chief executive Maurice Tulloch, who said in April that he would be leading a review of the company’s UK business.

“Today is the first step in our plan to make Aviva simpler, more competitive and more commercial,” said Mr Tulloch. “But there are also clear opportunities to improve. Reducing Aviva’s costs is essential to remain competitive and this means tough decisions and job losses which I do not take lightly. We will do all we can to minimise redundancies and support our people through this.”

As part of the plans, the firm also announced it would be splitting its general insurance and life insurance arms of its business, which were only merged together in 2017. Angela Darlington, former chief risk officer, will lead the UK life insurance business, while former Canadian boss Colm Holmes will lead the UK general insurance business. Aviva has assured their customers that there will be no difference to their service.

“I am also determined to crack Aviva’s complexity, an issue which has held back our performance for too long,” said Tulloch. “Today’s changes will begin to reduce complexity, cost and duplication, enabling Aviva to be better at serving our customers and delivering stronger results for our shareholders.”

Aviva didn’t say exactly how many of the job losses would be in the UK, although it will do what it can to keep redundancies to a minimum, hoping most of the job cuts will come from natural turnover of staff. The company has engaged with the trade union Unite to consult on the proposals. But the workers’ representatives said that Aviva staff in the UK would be shocked.

“The scale of this role reduction will be met with disbelief across the company,” said Andy Case, Unite’s officer for Aviva. “Unite have arranged urgent discussions with Aviva management in order to ascertain the rationale for cutting an already extremely stretched workforce. Unite has made it clear to management that the union will strongly challenge any attempt to make compulsory redundancies. Instead, any staff reductions must be found through volunteers, natural attrition, reducing reliance on contractors and redeployment.”