Australian Shopify staff let go in the middle of the night

Ultimately, placing this bet was my call to make and I got this wrong,

Shopify’s founder and global chief executive Tobias Lütke

Ian Neil, SC, an employment law barrister, said Australia’s national employment standards had redundancy rules for staff who do not have redundancy provisions in union-negotiated agreements, industrial awards or their contracts. Consultation requirements are minimal, though in some circumstances unions have to be notified, and payout starts at four weeks after a year of service, rising to 16 weeks after nine years at a company.

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Shopify, which has seen its shares plummet about 80 per cent from a high late last year of $US170 ($245), is offering a comparatively generous 16 weeks’ pay, plus another week for each year of service. It has promised to let staff keep company-bought home office furniture and to remove “equity cliff” rules that can stop former employees keeping shares in the company.

A spokesman for Shopify referred to Lütke’s email to staff, which the company also posted publicly, when contacted for comment. He would not answer questions about how many people Shopify employs in Australia or how many had been laid off.

Lütke said Shopify had hoped that the lockdown-driven surge in online shopping would be permanent. It was not.

“Ultimately, placing this bet was my call to make and I got this wrong,” he said in the email.

“Now, we have to adjust. As a consequence, we have to say goodbye to some of you today, and I’m deeply sorry for that.”

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