Aviva to cut 800 jobs at its UK businesses

INSURANCE giant Aviva last night confirmed plans to cut 800 jobs in the UK this year as part of a shake-up aimed at reducing the number of middle-managers in the company.

Aviva currently employs 18,500 staff in Britain and a spokesman confirmed to City A.M. that “up to 800 roles” are at risk. “In practice it will be significantly fewer because of voluntary redundancies, natural turnover and opportunities for redeployment,” they added.

The job losses are part of a restructuring announced in July by executive chairman John McFarlane, who is attempting to turn around the firm following the departure of former chief executive Andrew Moss during the ‘shareholder spring’.

McFarlane is aiming to reduce costs by £400m between now and the end of 2014 but faces strong opposition from trade unions.

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.”

Yesterday around 70 per cent of staff in the insurer’s UK Life division were told their jobs were safe. A further 25 per cent will be retained in some role, with around five per cent facing the sack.