Sunday 26 February 2017

Quinn staff win back bonuses and hold on to jobs

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

STAFF at embattled Quinn Insurance are to have their bonuses restored and will not face forced lay-offs.

The good news was relayed to the Cavan insurer's 2,400 staff yesterday and comes almost three months after the firm was forced into administration.

Bonuses were stopped soon afterwards, and Quinn Insurance's joint administrators later unveiled plans to make 900 staff redundant across Ireland and the UK.

In a statement yesterday, the insurance giant said the level of interest in a voluntary redundancy package was so high that no compulsory redundancies would be pursued.

Quinn Insurance also confirmed that bonuses schemes across all employees were being reintroduced from July 1. The performance-related schemes had previously been capped at 20pc of salary and will now be capped at 15pc because of the "financial position of the company".

Quinn Insurance is believed to have suffered heavy losses since it entered the administration process, which was triggered because of a €700m shortfall in the insurer's capital.

Meanwhile, the final preparations are being laid for the sale of Quinn Insurance. Australian bank Macquarie has been lined up to handle the deal, and prospectuses are expected to be issued later in the week.

But fears are rife that a new owner could impose further job cuts across Quinn Insurance's operations, and many workers are understood to have opted to leave now in case future redundancy payments are less generous. Yesterday's statement also confirmed that the Quinn Group has decided to auction off Quinn Healthcare, along with the administrators' sale of Quinn Insurance, as previously reported by the Irish Independent.

Banned

Industry experts believe the Quinn Group could make as much as €20m from the sale of the health business, which has close to 510,000 subscribers.

The insurance company's administrators are also awaiting a decision from the Financial Regulator on whether they can re-enter the commercial insurance market in the UK.

Quinn Insurance was banned from taking on any new UK business when it entered administration, but has since been re-admitted to the UK's motor insurance market.

The Financial Regulator has repeatedly declined to give a timeline on when the insurer might be re-admitted to the commercial market.

Irish Independent

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