Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 15:51 UK

Insurer Aviva to cut 1,100 jobs

Aviva sign
Unite says the Aviva job cuts will cause alarm in the industry

UK insurer Aviva, which owns Norwich Union, is to cut 1,100 jobs during 2009 as part of an efficiency drive, it has said in a statement.

The company also said that it would be closing 590 contract positions over the next few months.

The majority of the jobs being lost are at the offices in York, Norwich, Sheffield and Eastleigh.

The firm said it was "fully committed" to doing all it could to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.

York - 349 permanent, 222 contractor
Norwich 226 permanent, 254 contractor
Sheffield - 54 permanent, 43 contractor
Eastleigh - 35 permanent, 68 contractor

The company said the impact on staff would be minimised by natural turnover and redeployment, and the number of permanent employees who would leave the company was estimated to be about 800.

The firm said the cuts marked the end of a three-year programme to simplify its UK life and pensions operation.

Last year, Aviva suffered an £885m loss, after having made a profit of £1.5bn in 2007.

At the end of 2008, Aviva employed about 28,400 people in the UK and had a global workforce of nearly 55,000.

More than 60% of the group's business is now generated outside the UK.

The company has announced it is shedding more than 1,100 jobs across the UK

"The announcement by Aviva to cut 1,100 staff will cause alarm across the insurance industry," said Derek Simpson, joint leader of the Unite union.

"Unite is angry that Aviva is repeating what appears to be an annual exercise of cutting thousands of staff.

"The Aviva workforce is continuing to live under constant uncertainty about their future. Unite has been told that these job losses are unrelated to the economic downturn."

Aviva's UK Norwich Union brand will be renamed Aviva from June this year.

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