Broker offers staff unpaid leave

WORKERS at one of Ipswich's biggest employers are being offered unpaid leave as part of a radical cost-cutting exercise. A spokeswoman for insurance giant Willis said senior executives had sanctioned the unusual measure in response to the current economic difficulties.

WORKERS at one of Ipswich's biggest employers are being offered unpaid leave as part of a radical cost-cutting exercise.

A spokeswoman for insurance giant Willis said senior executives had sanctioned the unusual measure in response to the current economic difficulties.

The scheme allows staff to take extra time off on top of their contracted holiday entitlement but the leave is either unpaid or partly paid.

It is believed that one option involves staff taking a month's sabbatical in return for 30 per cent of their salary.


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Bosses say the initiative, which has been adopted across the Willis network, has been “extremely well received” by the broker's employees.

Willis employs around 1,200 people at its landmark Friars Street building.

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Ingrid Bosch, Willis communications manager, said: “We are offering our associates the option to take some unpaid leave, and/or partly paid sabbaticals. This fits with our policy of moving toward more flexible working and benefit structures.

“It also gives us another tool that allows us to manage our costs as we, like all other professional services firms, navigate these times of economic turmoil and uncertainty.

“This scheme is not compulsory, and is managed completely in conjunction with the team leaders to ensure client service is never compromised. It has been extremely well received by our associates.”

Ipswich has been one of Willis' key locations for more than 30 years.

The company has more than 300 offices in 100 countries, with a global team of approximately 16,000 employees serving clients in 190 countries.

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