Insurance giant confirms job cuts

INSURANCE giant AXA is cutting more than 120 jobs across three offices in Suffolk. The company's Ipswich office will be the hardest hit with 120 job losses while its two offices in Haverhill will also be affected by the cuts.

INSURANCE giant AXA is cutting more than 120 jobs across three offices in Suffolk.

The company's Ipswich office will be the hardest hit with 120 job losses while its two offices in Haverhill will also be affected by the cuts.

Bosses have insisted it will not reduce the company's commitment to the area - and pointed out that AXA will continue to provide nearly 1,500 jobs in Ipswich.

AXA's senior manager in the town, David Williams, said the company regretted having to make the move and was aware that the news would concern many employees.


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He said: “We are aware that the effects of this announcement will be felt much more widely than just those who turn out to be directly affected.

“If there is a group of 60 people facing losing some of their numbers, everyone will be anxious during the decision-making process.”

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A total of 560 jobs are being lost across the company.

Mr Williams said: “The reason so many are going from Ipswich is because we have such a large presence in the town. AXA employs about 1,600 people here.”

Ipswich MP Chris Mole last nightsaid he was “disappointed” and said it was important that those who lost their jobs where not out of work for too long.

“My first reaction is disappointment that 120 people in Ipswich will be losing the opportunity to work over the coming weeks. But this is slightly offset by the understanding that it may only affect 60 people directly because they are seeking to achieve half the number that they need in redundancy through voluntarily redundancy and natural wastage.

“Also, if you look at where the axe has fallen across AXA, the majority are in other parts of the UK and less have gone from Ipswich which I think is out of confidence in the Ipswich facility in many ways.”

Mr Mole said he had already spoken to James Hehir, the chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council, to urge the council to help those whose jobs are at risk with getting back to work.

He added: “The critical thing is that if people are going to be out of work then it is for a short a time as possible and they do not lose the skills they have.”

In Haverhill the motor claims department will lose jobs - although it is not currently known how many - while the liabilities department will lose about three or four jobs.

The Unite union - which represents AXA employees - said it will seek to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.

The union said it could not speak specifically about the Suffolk job losses.

But Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “Unite is disappointed that AXA has decided to make 560 job cuts from their insurance division. Unite will be meeting with our members over the coming days in order to discuss with them the impact of this news. The priority of the union is to work with AXA in order to minimise any compulsory redundancies through opportunities for redeployment within the AXA UK group.”

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