ONE of York’s biggest employers has announced plans to close one of its offices in the city.
Aviva which employs 2,000 people in York has unveiled plans to close centres across the UK – including the office at Monks Cross, York.
The city centre base at Wellington Row would remain.
The insurer confirmed the move was part of plans to allow staff to work from home beyond the pandemic and would not lead to job losses.
It comes as Aviva also announced plans to give all its 16,000 UK employees an extra day off this year, specifically to help with their wellbeing
Staff who are being consulted on the proposed change will be able to express a preference for which days they want to work from home or in the office, following discussions with their team leader.
This will be determined by individual and team circumstances.
A company spokesman confirmed its plans to consolidate the Monks Cross office into the city centre office at Wellington Row by March 31.
“We remain committed to York as a key location. This change will allow us to continue to maintain our existing people capacity under our new ways of working, consolidating into one office in the city centre. We will be looking to find a third-party occupier for our Monks Cross office as quickly as possible.”
In a company statement, Aviva added: “The way we use our office space is changing significantly.
“As our people continue to work in a new flexible way we want our offices to inspire creativity and collaboration.
“Our intention is to invest in our sites to provide a more vibrant, inspiring and flexible workspace for our people.
“As a result, we are making changes to a number of our offices across the UK, which means we are combining office space in some locations and reducing the space in others.
“We are not leaving any town or city where we currently have a presence and we will have an office in: Birmingham, Bristol, Eastleigh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leatherhead, Leeds, London, Manchester, Norwich, Perth, Sheffield, Worthing and York.
“There is no impact on Aviva roles as a result of these property changes. The next steps are to continue engaging with our people across these different locations, working with them to build the best working environment to support their needs, the needs of the business and our customers.”
The additional day off this year is part of a range of ‘winter wellbeing’ events Aviva is running to support colleagues as the Covid-19 struggle continues.
Aviva’s 2,000 colleagues in York can use this extra day how they wish – whether that’s to indulge in hobbies or simply rest and recharge. This day off is in addition to holiday leave available to employees at any point throughout this year.
The company said it wanted to recognise employees for their continued work to support customers.
Danny Harmer, Aviva’s Chief People Officer, said: “Our people have worked incredibly hard to support our customers throughout what has been a really difficult time for everyone. We want to make this winter a little bit brighter for them and say thank you. So this is an opportunity for colleagues to take a day for themselves.
“When our people are at their best, our business is at its best for our customers. Rest is is an important part of wellbeing and it’s vital that organisations create space for people to recharge their batteries wherever possible.”
The ‘Wellbeing Day’ is part of a range of support available to Aviva employees to help this winter, including:
• In December, UK employees received a £100 voucher to say thank you for their hard work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic
• A range of support tools to assist with working from home, including mental and wellbeing support, and 24/7 Employee Assistance programme
• DigiCare+, available for our employees free of charge. This is a smartphone app that can help detect, manage and prevent physical and mental health problems
• Free access to wellbeing apps, Headspace and Thrive. Headspace and Thrive are meditation apps that help build overall resilience, but it is also useful for specific areas, for example, helping with sleep
• #backtobest – a wellbeing campaign where employees can earn points for doing things that are good for them, like being active or meditating
• Flexible working available for all our people. Since the first lockdown we have paid, and will continue to pay, all our people in full, regardless of the hours they are able to work.
• 35 hours paid leave per year for UK employees to help manage caring responsibilities. In 2020, 536 Aviva colleagues in the UK each used an average of 11 and a half hours