Chief executive Steve Treloar emphasised that the staff cut is not related to the Covid-19 pandemic

Around 600 employees at insurer LV= could lose their jobs as a result of the company’s newly launched restructuring project, which is designed to integrate acquisition L&G into the broader business.

The insurer announced today that it had started the initial planning phase for a two and a half year project to reshape its business operations in order to integrate L&G, which it bought in January 2020, into the wider LV= group.

Alongside this integration work, LV= further plans to adjust its claims function, increasing its focus on the customer journey as well as “technical excellence”, which chief executive Steve Treloar described as “making sure that we are excellent in the technical handling of our claims”.

As a result of the proposed business changes, LV= expects around 600 job roles across different functions and locations to be impacted over the course of the project; the insurer added that its Ipswich office, where claims employees are based, is likely to be reduced.

Any redundancies will be phased over the project life cycle in the next two and a half years.

Treloar told Insurance Times that, where possible, the company will seek to minimise redundancies by retraining or redeploying staff to other business areas, although he also confessed that he didn’t know how many employees would be able to take this route.

However, he added that LV= has “a really good track record” when it comes to retraining.

He said: “It’s something that we’ll have to work through with our employees, but we have got a really good track record on this.

”This year, for example, we will be looking to have 160 apprenticeships across the whole organisation, so we utilise our full apprenticeship levy for retraining our staff.

“I would expect that to be a route that we can continue to offer for all of our staff to make sure we’re giving them the right retraining opportunities across the whole business.”

Treloar added that it is “too early” to confirm when the first round of redundancies will occur as the company is still to undertake staff consultations.

LV= employees were notified today about the redundancy risk.

“As a result of [the restructuring project], I would expect us to continue providing the award winning service that our business has become renowned for now, but it also means we are expecting to see around 600 roles being impacted over that two and a half year period,” Treloar continued.

“Clearly it is our intention to minimise redundancies within that through the use of either retraining, redeployment or indeed natural attrition, but it does mean that we will be seeing those roles reduce across the broader organisation.”

Business efficiencies

Treloar told Insurance Times that the planned restructure is not linked to Covid-19 or the financial fallout resulting from the pandemic – instead, it is about future proofing the business and ensuring it remains competitive moving forwards.

He said: “I should be very clear, there’s no link to Covid on these announcements. This is a function of needing to assess what we want the business to look like once we’ve completed the integration of L&G, so it’s a natural progression from the acquisition at the start of the year.

“What it will mean for us at the end of that two and a half years is that we will be looking at a business that is more broad-based than it is today, a scale home business to complement the scale motor business that we already have, with a great focus on delivering superb service for our customers and a really strong competitor in this market.

“What we’re looking to do is build on the fantastic service we already give to our customers. We are rated as the best customer service company for insurance in the UK, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We’re continuing to make sure that we’re building a great customer service through our claims function and that’s something I’m very much looking forward to when these new changes have bedded in.”

Despite the staffing decision being linked to business objectives, Treloar acknowledged that the redundancy proposals were still a difficult decision.

“It’s never easy making these decisions and we understand that the changes we’re proposing will be difficult for some, which is why we’re working extremely closely with our people to make sure they get all the support they need,” he said.

“However, while this news is undoubtedly difficult for some, we’re making these changes because we recognise that in order for us to thrive as a business in future we need to be set up in the best possible way and in making these changes we can ensure we achieve that.”