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Hughes Insurance to close Portadown branch with employees to work from home permanently

Hughes Insurance Portadown

Hughes Insurance is to close all but one of its Northern Ireland branches – including Portadown – as staff have been told to work from home permanently.

The insurance firm said that branches Glengormley, Newtownards and Portadown’s Hanover Street will shut but none of the 250 jobs will be lost as a result.

The Newtownards branch will be available to employees at least two days a week, if they choose.

Sarah Balmforth, head of human resources, said: “We have been part of the fabric of Northern Ireland for over 40 years, and although we have adapted our offering in response to customer needs, we are here to stay.

“The remote model has served us extremely well throughout this pandemic, with customers enjoying an impressive level of service, and the technology we have in place still ensures that customers feel connected to our employees.

“We live by our value of putting our people first, and as such have created this model to align with both the strategy of the business and the needs of our staff.”

In a workplace poll, 93% of staff said they did not wish to return to office-based working.

Employees working from home will receive an annual payment to cover any related remote working expenses.

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