Concern as 1,900 workers find contracts switched to different employer


Unite has expressed concern about the Friends Life deal which will mean as many as 1,900 of its UK employees being outsourced to Diligenta.

Nearly half all staff currently working at Friends Life will move to Diligenta on the 1st March. Friends Life has at the same time announced the closure of their Preston Office by the middle of 2013 which means around 65 employees could be facing redundancy.

Unite national officer David Fleming said: “The 1,900 staff at Friends Life now face another period of great uncertainty as the prospect of a transfer to Diligenta is explored. Equally employees remaining with Friends Life will face uncertainty as this company heads remorselessly from one cost cutting exercise to another. Unite will be seeking urgent talks with both Friends Life and Diligenta, full consultation must take place with the union.

“Staff will now be concerned about their future pension benefits & job security. The news for staff in the Preston site is particularly upsetting with the proposed closure of this site by the middle of 2013. Staff at the Preston site could be facing a bleak future and Unite will robustly challenge compulsory job losses. We will be expecting both companies to explore all avenues to avoid compulsory redundancies.”

Friends Life currently employs around 4,000 staff in offices based in Basingstoke, Bristol, Coventry, Dorking, Exeter, London, Manchester, Preston, Salisbury and Salford. Earlier this year Friends Life announced the closure of sites in Basingstoke, Coventry and Manchester Spring Gardens

It is proposed that the transfer of up to 1,900 staff from Friends Life to Diligenta will take place on the 1st March 2012 – subject to full consultation with Unite.

Friends Life is owned by Resolution and includes all of Friends Provident, AXA Life UK and Bupa Health Assurance.  Diligenta is a UK based, Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulated subsidiary of Tata Consultancy Services and provides outsourcing services to a number of UK Insurance Companies.

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