Could a four-day week save 300 jobs?

The Direct Line office in Ipswich will shut in 2022, taking with it 300 jobs. Picture: ARCHANT

The Direct Line office in Ipswich will shut in 2022, taking with it 300 jobs. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A union has called for a four day-week following the news that Direct Line will close their Ipswich office.

On Wednesday it emerged that the insurance giant was closing its office in Friars Street, with the loss of 300 jobs.

The closure is scheduled for 2022 as part of a national push to cut 800 jobs.

MORE: Direct Line closure 'very unwelcome news' for Ipswich

Now, Unite which has 300 members who work for Direct Line, are calling for the insurer to retain the staff and implement a four-day working week instead.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said: "Unite is disappointed to hear that Direct Line is cutting 800 jobs in a drive to save £60m. The company justifies the job losses by blaming more customers for buying products online. Whilst we accept this is happening Unite doesn't accept that job losses should therefore be inevitable. We believe Direct Line should take the opportunity to provide its employees with a better work/life balance and reduce the working week to four days with no loss of pay. Not only will this improve employees well being it would also reduce the need to sack its workers. Unite calls upon Direct Line to sit down with us to explore alternatives to redundancies and reduce the working week for its staff."

In response a Direct Line spokeoman said: "The proposal is for the Ipswich office to close in 2022, giving our people two years to prepare. We have promised to give our people at least 12 months' notice of the final date. We take the well being of our colleagues very seriously and will be working with our Employee Representative Body to discuss the proposal and make sure colleagues are fully supported."

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