Calls for clarity on job security after shock news Aviva is to move out of Bishopbriggs

Local politicians are demanding answers on job security after yesterday’s shock news that Aviva in Bishopbriggs is closing its local base and relocating.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 9:48 am
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 11:40 am

The insurance firm, which employs around 1,200 people in Bishopbriggs, said it will move to the Maxim Business Park in Motherwell from July 2021.

The news has come as a huge shock to staff - many who live locally.

Bishopbriggs councillor Alan Moir (Labour, Bishopbriggs South) and Strathkelvin and Bearsden SNP MSP Rona Mackay expressed their shock and concern at a major employee moving out of East Dunbartonshire.

Councillor Moir wants to know why Aviva appears not to have communicated with East Dunbartonshire Council to explore other options after 15 years in the area.

He said: “Aviva’s decision to close its Bishopbriggs base and relocate to Maxim Business Park, Motherwell, is a huge blow to Bishopbriggs and the wider economy within East Dunbartonshire.

“Whilst Aviva say that their decision “does not affect employee roles”, it still clearly leaves a significant worry and potential upheaval for their local employees and their families.

“I would expect nothing less than full and proper engagement with their staff and the respective trade unions to resolve the issues created by this decision.

“We need to seek answers to why East Dunbartonshire was unable to secure their tenancy beyond the 15 years that they have enjoyed in Bishopbriggs, and more so given the Bishopbriggs plant is located in the heart of ambitious City Deal plans.

“It is extremely disappointing that there would appear little or no communication was had with East Dunbartonshire Council to explore what options were available for Aviva to remain and potentially expand at Bishopbriggs.”

Rona Mackay MSP is calling for clarity on job security for employees.

She told the Herald she has written to Aviva PLC Chief Executive Officer Maurice Tulloch seeking a meeting with the company regarding the decision to close the contact centre in Bishopbriggs.

In her letter, the SNP MSP was “deeply shocked and concerned” at the move to close the site, branding it “unthinkable” to have uncertainty over jobs and security during the current COVID pandemic.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP went further, calling for clarity on whether redundancies have been considered as part of the amalgamation and stressing the huge benefit of the site to the local economy of East Dunbartonshire.

The company are set to begin the phased transition from June 2021, moving to a new site in the Maxim Business Park, Eurocentral.

Commenting, Rona Mackay said: “I am shocked with the news that Aviva have decided to close their Bishopbriggs centre, plunging many of my constituents into uncertainty and concern over their future employment within the company.

“It is unthinkable that, in the current climate, an important employer within my constituency is considering this office closure. I have written to the Chief Executive Maurice Tulloch to express my concerns and to seek further clarity on behalf of the workers.

“It’s incredibly important to know what redundancies, if any, could arise as a result of this amalgamation and what further information Aviva have given to my constituents.

“During the pandemic, in partnership with Amy Callaghan MP, I was glad to work constructively with Aviva to ensure their workers could safely work from home. It is that same co-operation we need to see now, putting my constituents first and foremost, to ensure there is no detrimental impact as a result of this closure. I would urge Aviva into an immediate rethink and am seeking an urgent meeting to relay these concerns.”

A spokesperson for Aviva said today they had nothing to add to their statement yesterday when they confirmed the relocation of the business.

The firm’s St Vincent Street operation in Glasgow is also moving to Maxim Business Park next year.