herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Quinn staff devastated as axe falls on 900 jobs

STUNNED: West Dublin bears the brunt of firm's massive cutbacks

WEST DUBLIN is the area worst-hit by the Quinn Insurance job losses, with 301 employees going from there.

In a devastating announcement for Blanchardstown and several other communities, 900 employees were asked to take voluntary redundancy by the administrators appointed in March.

The job losses, which account for more than a third of Quinn Insurance's 2,500 staff, were announced to devastated workers at staff meetings yesterday.

The jobs announcement means staff across Quinn Insurance's nine bases in the UK and Ireland now have two weeks to decide whether they will opt for a voluntary redundancy package.

The package on offer includes four weeks' pay over and above statutory redundancy. The administrators are hoping to phase the layoffs over a 12-month period.

Around 350 employees will be affected across all locations in the first phase of the process -- Blachardstown is set to lose 65 jobs in the first phase. At the moment it has 794 employees.

Some 226 employees are to be made redundant at the company's headquarters in Cavan, with 121 going in the first phase.

The plan will also see 179 workers made redundant at the Enniskillen office, with a further 109 going from the company's Navan office in total.

In Derrylin, in Fermanagh, 27 jobs will be cut, and a further 48 are due to to go at the insurer's Manchester office.

The company's Dublin office on O'Connell Street will see staffing numbers cut by four, and a further six will be made redundant in the London office.

The administrators said that the job cuts were necessary "to safeguard the company and the future of 1,500 jobs" and bring the company's cost base in line with its greatly reduced revenue.

This reduction in revenue largely stems from a collapse in UK business, which made up about 40pc of the company's total income until it went into administration at the end of March and was banned from writing new business in the UK.

That ban has now been partially eased, with Quinn allowed to write personal motor business in Britain.





Battle

Meanwhile, as the first meeting began yesterday, the Quinn Group announced that it was giving up the battle to keep the insurance company under the Quinn umbrella.

"The group has now reluctantly concluded that in view of the funding required to meet the solvency requirements laid down by the Financial Regulator, the future of Quinn Insurance is probably best protected under new ownership," said Quinn Group chief executive, Liam McCaffrey.

fdillon@herald.ie

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