Aviva has confirmed the prospect of long-expected job losses in its Irish operation with the announcement that 770 jobs are set to go from Aviva Ireland.
The proposed redundancies are part of a wider job cull that could see a further 180 go from Aviva Europe.
The job losses come as a result of a move to combine Aviva Ireland with Aviva UK to form a new UK and Ireland region. The insurer said in a statement that it aimed to become the most competitive insurance provider in Ireland.
In addition, Aviva said it was looking to restructure European regional operations to strengthen the business and "create a leaner cost base".
The long-expected redundancies have been blamed on the macro-economic environment with the insurer claiming there was a "pressing need to ensure the Irish cost base is at a market-leading level to secure the long-term success of the business".
It claimed the Irish business would benefit from Aviva UK's investment in technology, underwriting capability and purchasing power, enabling Aviva Ireland to offer more competitive pricing and to introduce new products and services.
Aviva said it would also investigate the feasibility of establishing additional centres of excellence in Ireland to serve customers in the UK, as the business grows which could potentially mitigate the reduction in roles in Ireland by approximately 200.
There are currently 1,770 employees in the Aviva Ireland business and the company said it anticipated that if the proposals were implemented the number of roles remaining in Ireland would be between 1,000-1,200 (including roles which may potentially be outsourced).
Period of uncertainty
The proposed changes to the Irish business are not expected to begin to take effect before March 2012 and Aviva said it could take up to two years for a new structure to come into full effect.
Igal Mayer, chief executive of Aviva Europe said: "In Ireland, we must improve our competitiveness to ensure we continue to provide customers with attractive products, good value and excellent service. We're fully committed to keeping customer-facing roles in Ireland and to minimising the impact on our employees.
"We appreciate that there will be a period of uncertainty for our people over the next few months as the proposals are explored further, and we'll make every effort to support them during the consultation period and beyond.
"The proposed changes to our regional operations will deliver a stronger, leaner business, at the heart of which is a firm focus on meeting our customers' needs."