SCOTS call centre workers face an uncertain future after insurance giant Aviva announced it planned to axe about 2000 jobs from its UK, European and Asian workforce.

The Norwich-based insurance group employs 2500 people north of the Border, mainly at facilities in Perth and Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow.

A spokesman said no decision had been taken on where posts would be made redundant.

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Aviva also said redundancy pay in the UK would be halved from four weeks per year of service to two from next year.

The company said the job cuts were part of a programme to reduce costs across the business, including "substantial non-people related savings".

Aviva, which had previously announced it planned to reduce costs by more than £400 million, said in a statement: "Aviva has also communicated today it has reviewed its employment policies and practices to ensure they are effective and competitive in today's market environment.

"As a result, Aviva has decided to introduce a revised redundancy policy for all employees on UK contracts.

"This will bring Aviva's redundancy terms in line with market practice in the UK, which will remain significantly above the statutory provisions.

"Importantly, the changes to redundancy terms will be implemented in two phases so those impacted in the next six months will still receive the current four weeks' redundancy pay for each year of service."

Mark Wilson, Aviva's group chief executive officer, said: "I know this is difficult news for our employees but these changes are essential if we are to remain competitive. Aviva needs to become a more efficient and agile organisation to unlock its potential.

"We must take tough decisions on costs to provide our customers with great value products and ensure our future success.

"I am determined Aviva gets through this phase of our business transformation as quickly as possible."

Unions have criticised the move, calling the decision to cut redundancy pay a "callous and disgraceful act".

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "Once again finance staff are being forced to pay the price for boardroom failure.

"Aviva has also announced plans to slash redundancy pay, with longer serving staff losing more than one-quarter of their entitlement.

"Since the departure of chief executive Andrew Moss less than 12 months ago the UK workforce, which is the backbone of the firm, has suffered job cuts, pay freezes and now faces an attack on their redundancy terms, when the company is planning more cuts.

"Unite will give staff all the support possible to oppose any job losses in the UK and the cuts to redundancy terms."