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Aviva Accidentally Fires 1,300 Employees

Second largest insurer in the UK Aviva might need to get some insurance of its own, after the company mistakenly sacked its workforce by email last Friday.

Sent by the Aviva Investors HR department, the email sacked not one, but 1,300 of its employees - asking them to turn over any company property upon exiting the premises as well as reminding them to not disclose any sensitive information related to the insurance firm.

The message read: ‘I am required to remind you of your contractual obligations to the company you are leaving. You have an obligation to retain any confidential information pertaining to Aviva Investors operations, systems and clients.'

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future.'

Luckily, the message was later retracted - bar the original person the email was intended for (unlucky).

"It was intended that this e-mail should have gone to one single person," explained Paul Lockstone, spokesman for Aviva. "Unfortunately, as a result of a clerical error, it was sent to all of the Aviva Investors staff worldwide. Most people recognised immediately that the e-mail was a mistake."

Whilst many have laughed off this blunder, it's hard to ignore the sheer sensitivity of dismissing an employee via email. And in the case of the unfortunate individual given the boot by Aviva, sadly what should have been a private matter has now gone public - all because of a 'clerical error'.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek (opens in new tab)

Mariel Norton is a self-confessed girly geek with a penchant for technology, and previously wrote for ITProPortal, with experience on TheNextWeb, UKFast, WorldRemit, Virgin Media, Google, and more.