Musk must stick to European rules with Twitter class round
If Elon Musk also decides to reduce the workforce in Europe, he will have to comply with European labor legislation. The intervention of the new Twitter owner has already led to a lawsuit in California. If Musk does not comply with strict European rules, he will also face a legal battle here.
About a week after billionaire Musk took control of Twitter, employees from San Francisco were banned from accessing Dublin from their work accounts. The company released a memo saying that all employees will be notified of their status at 9 a.m. California time on Friday.
A lawsuit has already been filed against the company in San Francisco. However, the attorney who filed the complaint later said that Musk is trying to comply with the law. The new Twitter chief is said to be planning to lay off half of the company’s employees to cut Twitter costs. This will be about 3,700 employees worldwide.
In the UK, where Twitter employed 281 people last year, British employers are required by law to prove there are grounds for firing employees. If more than twenty employees of a company are laid off, the company must follow the rules of counseling. For example, Twitter will have to inform the government. There must also be a period of at least 30 days between the submission of the resignation and the actual departure.
Musk could learn a lesson from P&O Ferries. That company, which operates ferries across the canal, caused an uproar earlier this year when it tried to fire 800 workers via a video message. P&O has been the subject of civil and criminal investigations by the UK government. Some ships were chained for safety checks. The Director General was questioned in the British House of Commons.
Under UK law, compensation to be paid for unfair dismissal can be up to £93,000. If the employee can demonstrate discrimination, this amount could be much higher. Twitter workers in the UK have joined unions in an effort to better protect their rights. General Secretary Mike Clancy said Prospect, a British trade union, had seen an influx of new Twitter members in the past week.
EU countries also generally require employers to observe a notice period if they lay off a large number of employees. It is not immediately clear what effect the intervention will have on Twitter employees in the Netherlands. Twitter had an office in Utrecht, but earlier reports that that office had been closed have circulated. Twitter itself was not immediately available for comment.
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