U.K. firm's 1,300 staff accidentally given marching orders

Email meant for one sent to all employees
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/23/2012

LONDON (Reuters) - Workers at investment firm Aviva Investors got a shock on Friday when the company accidentally sent an email with leaving instructions intended for one departing employee to the entire worldwide staff of 1,300 people.

The firm's human resources department realized its mistake and recalled the offending message 25 minutes later and, soon afterwards, sent out another email apologizing to staff for the error, company spokesman Paul Lockstone said.

"An email which was intended for a member of staff who was leaving today was accidentally sent to all Aviva Investors staff worldwide," he said.

"People were pretty quickly aware of the fact that this was a mistake... I don't believe any of our staff would have seen it really as anything other than the mistake that it was."

The email was a standard message sent to people leaving the company, covering things such as handing back company equipment and confidentiality rules, and did not tell recipients they were fired, Lockstone said.

Aviva Investors is the fund management arm of Aviva plc, the world's sixth-largest insurance group, and manages assets of more than £262 billion ($420 billion). It said in January it would shed around 160 jobs, about 12 per cent of its global workforce.

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