British multinational life insurer Prudential
will relocate about 80 jobs from its Reading branch to India and Scotland as it realigns its business operations amid falling product demand.
During a meeting on May 27, employees in the insurer’s individual annuities division were told that their jobs could be sent to India by Octo
ber, The Reading Chronicle
The report added that a small number of jobs will also be moved to Craigforth, Scotland, to make it appear to telephone customers that Prudential
is still operating within the UK.
A company spokesperson told The Reading Chronicle
that declining demand for annuity products had forced Prudential
to make the planned employment changes, putting around 80 permanent roles at risk of redundancy.
“As a result of this reduced customer demand and the realignment of our operating model to service this business, we are proposing to make a number of changes within the teams that support annuity administration,” the publication quoted the spokesperson as saying.
Trade association Union Unite, which has entered into a 45-day consultation period with the major English carrier, warned of an industrial action.
Unite Union national officer for finance Dominic Hook told The Reading Chronicle
that offshoring is a “toxic issue” which Prudential
is fully aware of.
“That’s why transferring a handful of public-facing jobs to Scotland will be used as a smoke screen to hide the fact that the majority of this highly technical and skilled work will go offshore,” the publication quoted Hook as saying.
Hook said Prudential
only wants to pay employees in Mumbai “far less to do the same work.”
“Offshoring is cynical, exploitative and ultimately it will be the firm’s customers who will pay the price,” he said.