Aviva Plc., the U.K.’s largest insurer, announced that it plans to increase its offshoring capacity by moving some 950 jobs offshore “to service its existing Norwich Union businesses.”
The group has already created some 3700 jobs in India. It expects to complete the offshoring plans by the end of 2007 and “anticipates that it will have up to 7,000 roles offshore by then, servicing its existing UK businesses.”
The company said it “expects no more than 150 compulsory redundancies in 2005 as a result of offshoring, as the company’s previous experience has shown that most job reductions can be achieved through normal staff turnover, redeployment and retraining.”
Aviva called offshoring “a well-established strategy,” which provides “flexibility and efficiency and enables the company to maintain the quality of service which customers demand.”
Around 760 jobs will be based in India to service the life and pensions and general insurance businesses in mainly back office administration roles. The remaining 190 jobs will be predominantly finance support roles based in Sri Lanka.
The company said it would try to minimize the impact in the U.K. “by redeploying staff to alternative roles.” It also stressed that it “invests £1 million [$1.8 million] a year to provide career advice, retraining and support for staff affected by change.”
The company anticipates about 70 job cuts in Norwich and another 60 in York with an additional 20 in other Norwich Union offices.
Gary Withers, Norwich Union Life’s chief executive, commented: “We operate in very competitive markets where customers continually seek better value for money and quality of service. The experience of our existing offshore operations shows that the service levels in India continue to match those that we achieve in our UK operations. Expanding our offshore operations will give us the increased capacity we need. We expect to conclude our offshoring plans by the end of 2007 by which time we anticipate that we will have up to 7,000 roles offshore servicing our existing UK businesses.
“We recognise that this is a period of great uncertainty and will do everything we can to support staff during this time and ensure that they are kept fully informed throughout the process. We have a successful track record of redeployment with offshoring and as a result we will minimise the impact of redundancies.”
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