Tayside and Central Scotland

Concerns raised over future of jobs at Perth Aviva site

Aviva premises, Perth Image copyright Aviva
Image caption Aviva employs about 1,300 staff at its Pitheavlis site in Perth

Concerns about local job losses have been raised in Perthshire after it was revealed insurance giant Aviva plans to cut 1,500 jobs by the end of 2017.

The details emerged as part of the firm's £5.6bn takeover of pensions company Friends Life.

It is not yet clear where the cuts will be made.

Aviva's site in Perth employs about 1,300 staff, and local politicians have called for clarity on whether their jobs are at risk.

The insurer plans to generate £225m in annual cost savings by the end of 2017 as part of the Friends Life deal. Shareholders will vote on the takeover on 26 March, and it is expected to go through on 13 April.

The company had previously underlined its commitment to Perth by buying the Pitheavlis site in 2013 as its lease on the premises expired.

Perthshire MP Pete Wishart said he wanted to find out "as soon as possible" how the job losses would impact on Perth.

The SNP MP said: "It is really important that employees are not kept in the dark about their future and that any reduction in job numbers can be managed through means other than redundancy."

'Urgent clarity'

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith said the cuts would be "a real concern" for workers at the Perth site.

She added: "Employees at Aviva will want urgent clarity over their future and it is essential that this is given to them at the earliest opportunity.

"I also believe it would be prudent for the Scottish government to enter into early discussions with the company over their future plans in Perth.

"It is crucial that if we are to see significant redundancies that we see steps taken early to help those affected."

An Aviva spokesman said it was too early to identify specific teams, roles or locations for the job cuts.

He said: "When we are clearer on this, following completion of the deal, we will fully engage and consult with employees and their representative bodies.

"We appreciate that this news may be disconcerting for employees and we would look to ensure that any redundancies are kept to a minimum wherever possible, by using vacancies and natural turnover, for example."

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