Ageas redundancies confirmed

Redundancy

Following a consultation about the closures of Port Solent and Stoke-on-Trent centres Ageas expects 430 redundancies.

The 45-day consultation on the closure of Ageas’ operations in Port Solent and Stoke-on-Trent has ended with the insurer anticipating up to 430 redundancies.

The job cuts will be phased through to 2020 and, at this stage, the company is hoping that some staff will still find roles within the organisation.

When the closures first came to light in January it was feared that up to 587 jobs could be at risk.

A leaked document revealed that, in addition to the branch closures, the business is also outsourcing its IT operations to Tata Consultancy. It is also down-sizing its America Square operation in London.

Ageas said the consultation process failed to find any other alternative viable proposals.

Difficult
CEO Andy Watson commented: “This has been a difficult and unsettling time for many of our people and I want to thank each of them for their professionalism throughout the process so far.

“I’m pleased that from our Port Solent office we’re retaining the expertise of around 80 per cent of people who are willing to make the move to Eastleigh. We’ve also offered alternative roles to around 32 people from the Sales and Service team in Eastleigh to other roles at that site.”

When the plans were first announced Ageas stated that 388 staff worked at the Stoke office.

Watson continued: “For our employees based in Stoke we will do all we can to support our people in securing alternative roles and are working with a number of organisations including local businesses.

“Talks so far have indicated that there are opportunities in the local area, with a strong interest in our capable, skilled and experienced people.”

Telephone
The provider said the review was prompted by both the reduction in demand from customers wanting to buy insurance over the telephone and the increased business efficiency created by its simplification work and investment in technology.

Ageas will now progress with the following changes:

  • transfer all operations from its office in Port Solent to Eastleigh from June 2019;
  • close the office in Stoke on Trent by June 2020;
  • consolidate the Sales and Service operation from 1 April 2019; and
  • transfer the IT and Infrastructure teams to Tata Consultancy Services from 1 April 2019 (subject to contract).

Ageas stated that it is now focused on helping employees with their next steps and is working with organisations including the Department of Work and Pensions, National Careers Services and LHH Penna outplacement services to provide employees with advice on dealing with redundancy and finding alternative employment.

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