Fury as insurance giant Aviva plans to slash sick pay for Sheffield staff

Staff at insurance giant Aviva in Sheffield are furious at plans to slash sick pay during the pandemic, it is claimed.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 1:55 pm

A worker, who asked not to be named, said internal message boards lit up with hundreds of complaints after the company announced cuts despite ‘making healthy profits and its biggest advertising campaign in five years’.

From July 1, those with less than six months’ service will have their sick pay cut to nothing, it is claimed.

For those with more than two years’ service it has been cut in half, from 52 to 26 weeks. And for staff with between six months and two years’ it has reduced to 13 weeks.

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Aviva on Pear Street.

Aviva employs 1,800 people in Sheffield.

The worker said it was an ‘ill-timed and disgraceful’ cost-cutting measure.

They added: “When they are relaunching their brand about how much they ‘care’, to slash sick pay seems at best poor optics and at worst a penny-pinching exercise for a company which still made hundreds of millions of pounds of profit whilst its staff all worked throughout.

The decision was taken ‘in secret without any scrutiny and heavily opposed by the union’, they added.

Aviva on Pear Street.

An Aviva spokesman said they were making changes to be ‘more in line with other employers’.

He added: “We’re making some changes to our company sick pay.

“It is still a good benefit for our colleagues but we have balanced it better between supporting our colleagues while being more in line with other employers.

“From 1 July 2021, colleagues with two years’ service or more will get company sick pay of 26 weeks’ full basic salary, followed by any remaining statutory sick pay.”

He did not mention new rates for those with less service.

He added: “We also have a Group Income Protection policy which is there to support our people in returning to work and also financially for some long term absences of up to five years.

“Before we announced these changes, we consulted widely with our people.

“Employee wellbeing continues to be Aviva's priority, and we have a strong benefits package to support our people.”

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.