Liquidators Pricewaterhouse-coopers (PWC) made 1,044 Independent Insurance staff redundant last Friday (June 29).

PWC will have to sell company assets to cover the redundancy payments, since the employees will not be eligible for payments under the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) redundancy payment service.

The service only pays out on companies that are proved to be insolvent, not in provisional liquidation, as in Independent's case.

Independent's Cheadle office has lost 377 staff, Edenbridge 165 and London 157, with the remaining losses spread across Independent's other operations.

Most were in the sales, marketing and new business underwriting areas.

Insurance Times has learned that the method used to notify staff of their redundancy was by posting lists of names that directed them to different meeting rooms, depending on whether they were to stay or go.

A redundant Independent employee told Insurance Times that staff had received only the statutory minimum redundancy payment of one week's pay for each year of service, capped at £240 per year.

A PWC spokesman confirmed that Independent director John Blakemore, who was a member of a panel that selected staff for redundancy, had kept his job.