Shock as AXA cut 120 jobs in Ipswich

STAFF at Ipswich's AXA Insurance office were today coming to terms with the news that 120 jobs are set to go.

STAFF at Ipswich's AXA Insurance office were today coming to terms with the news that 120 jobs are set to go.

However bosses insisted the move would not reduce the company's commitment to the area - and pointed out that AXA would continue to provide nearly 1,500 jobs in the town.

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

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.”

A total of 560 posts are being lost at AXA Insurance in the UK - but the number of people facing losing their jobs is only about half of that.

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“The rest of the posts will be lost by non-replacement and transfering people between departments. The total number of jobs going will be about 280 of which in the region of 120 will be in Ipswich.

“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,” he said.

Although that is the total number of people employed by AXA at its offices in Ipswich, 1,272 of them are employed by AXA Insurance which is making the cuts.

Meetings will be held with staff over the next two weeks and Mr Williams said that by the end of that time most people should know what their position should be.

AXA also has two offices at Haverhill which will also be affected by the cuts.

Mr Williams said the motor claims department there would lose jobs in a similar proportion to businesses across the country.

Meanwhile the liabilities department would lose only about three or four jobs - and one member of staff was due to retire later this year in any event.

“We are due to make a further announcement on June 25 and by then the situation for our staff should be much clearer,” he said.

AXA Insurance's chief executive Philippe Maso has written to MPs in constituencies affected by the cuts - including Ipswich's Chris Mole - to try to reassure them that the company remains committed to their areas.

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