UK insurer Aviva has revealed that it plans to cut up to 800 jobs in the near future and was unable to rule out losses from the IT division.

The cuts come as part of the insurer’s attempt to create a more agile and efficient business, but has sparked anger from the union Unite who has slammed the decision as “absolutely appalling”.

Computerworld UK asked Aviva whether or not IT would be impacted, but was told that it did not have that level of detail yet.

A spokeswoman for Aviva said: “We’ve previously outlined plans to simplify our business and make it more efficient and agile. Yesterday, we briefed our UK employees about the next stage in this process, including sharing new team structures with them. “

“The vast majority of our employees will be placed into roles with little change. Up to 800 roles could be at risk, although in practice it will be fewer than this because of natural turnover, voluntary redundancies and redeployment opportunities within Aviva. There will also be some new roles in growth areas”

She added: “Our aim is that no one area in the UK in terms of business or location will have a disproportionate impact.”

Unite has said that the programme, dubbed ‘Project Simplify’, started as an attempt to cut bureaucracy and duplication at senior and middle management levels, but has turned into a major job cuts agenda across the Aviva workforce.

David Fleming, Unite national officer said: “Our members face being asked to pay the price of boardroom failure and Unite is dismayed that what started out as a shareholders' revolt on executive pay will result in a jobs cull. This is totally unacceptable."

In other news, Aviva has invited motorists to help develop a new driving app that could earn them a discount of up to 20 percent on their insurance. It is using smartphone technology to create individual driver profiles that will be used to calculate tailored pay-how-you-drive premiums.