Newry job losses as Hughes Insurance set to close

March 21, 2016

The Newry branch of Hughes Insurance has announced it is set to close its doors this April.

The closure is part of an organisational restructure which will see half of the company’s branches close, resulting in the loss of 20 jobs.

The company has said that the re-structure has been prompted by changes in consumer habits as more and more people purchase insurance policies online.

The company has its headquarters in Newtownards and has 11 branches in total. Staff have been informed that branches will close in Ballymena, Ballynahinch, Lisburn, Magherafelt and Omagh as well as Newry, with the 5 other branches remaining unaffected.

Indeed, the branches in Coleraine, Derry, Glengormley, Portadown and Belfast have been earmarked for growth amid the company’s £1 million investment on a new e-commerce platform.

It is understood that some staff members will be offered the opportunity to relocate to company headquarters or other branches.

In a statement, Hughes Insurance said that it would “make every effort to avoid redundancies where possible.”

“Where it isn’t possible, any redundancies will be voluntary led, or for certain roles, the opportunity to reapply for new positions may exist.”

Hughes Insurance said that it had written to all affected branch customers about the changes.

Meanwhile, Orla Jackson, the Chief Executive of Newry Chamber of Trade and Commerce commented: “It is with great sadness that we hear of the closure of Hughes Insurance in Newry and five other locations in Northern Ireland.

“This will have a devastating impact on the employees affected within these branches.

“I trust that those employed in the Newry branch will be afforded every opportunity for redeployment within the company structure.”