Legal & General Hove office in The Droveway, Hove
MORE than 500 Legal & General workers are facing redundancy after the insurance firm announced plans to move their jobs to Hertfordshire.
The 510 jobs to go represent more than a third of the 1,200 jobs at the company’s City Park office in Hove.
The positions in the Mature Savings unit are due to move to Hitchin, Hertfordshire in summer 2019.
The announcement comes after Legal & General sold the department, which deals in pensions, for £650 million to firm Swiss Re which operates in Hertfordshire.
MoraleStaff were told about the office’s impending move to Hertfordshire yesterday.
One worker, who did not want to be named, said the news had come as shock to the workers and morale was now very low.
However, Legal & General tried to play down the job losses and said no changes will be taking place for 18 months and staff in that time could be offered jobs in other roles in Hove.
A Legal & General spokesman said: “Following today’s announcement, it is important to stress that it will be business as usual in our Mature Savings business for 18 months – until the summer of 2019 – which gives us time to hold discussions with staff about other opportunities, including at L&G’s offices in Hove.”
Legal & General Group CEO, Nigel Wilson, said the business was sold in a bid to accelerate growth in other business areas.
He said: “Selling Mature Savings is the right decision for us – another important, measured, step in growing our company and updating our products.
“It will drive further earnings growth by allowing us to focus on our successful market-leading businesses and to accelerate the scaling up of our growth businesses.”
Union Unite is demanding an urgent meeting with Legal & General management to fully understand the deal and the raise the concerns of the workforce.
Ian Methven, Unite regional officer said: “The news of the sale of the profitable mature savings business is an utter surprise to the loyal Legal & General workforce in Hove.
“There had been no warning that this sale was on the horizon and today there is total confusion across the site as staff try to digest the information of their jobs being sold.
“Just three weeks before Christmas staff have arrived at work in Hove today to find they have been sold down river by their employer for whom many have been incredibly loyal and long serving.
“More than 500 people have today been told that their jobs are at risk and with limited prospects of similar local employment the future of hundreds of people and their families now look extremely bleak.
“Legal & General must urgently sit down with Unite representatives and divulge all of the plans.
“This is no way to treat a highly loyal, committed and highly skilled workforce.”
The Argus asked Swiss Re how many, if any staff, might be offered the chance to move to their offices in Hertfordshire, but they declined to comment.
Source: The Argus