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Insurer Direct Line to cut 800 UK jobs

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Insurance giant Direct Line is to axe around 800 jobs across its UK business as the company alters its operations to deal with more online customers.

The cuts by the company, which also owns the Churchill and Green Flag brands, will affect almost 7% of its 11,000 workforce.

It said the redundancies, which were first reported by Sky News, will take place predominantly between 2021 and 2022 and will include the closure of one of its current sites.

Last year, chief executive Penny James told investors that the business would need to cut costs by around £50 million.

A Direct Line Group spokeswoman said: “Like many companies we are having to prepare for changes in the way we operate, reflecting changing customer behaviour where people are increasingly opting to interact with us digitally.

“We are therefore proposing a number of changes across the business which sadly mean the loss of jobs for some of our people.

“These decisions are always really difficult; we take the wellbeing of our people very seriously and have given people as much time as possible to prepare.”

Direct Line said it will be working with its employee representative body to support workers through the process, including helping them to find new jobs by working with local organisations, as well as providing CV training.

The company, which is due to announce its annual results next week, has made the cuts as the insurance industry continues to grapple with rising claims costs and weaker growth in premiums.