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Byju's Under Fire for Layoffs via Phone Calls, Raising Concerns About Treatment of Employees

Byju's, the Indian EdTech giant, faces criticism for reportedly laying off employees over phone calls without proper notice. This article explores the details of the layoffs, employee concerns, and Byju's response amidst financial struggles.

Byju's Under Fire for Layoffs via Phone Calls, Raising Concerns About Treatment of Employees

Employee Morale Takes a Hit as Byju's Resorts to Layoffs

Byju's, India's leading EdTech company, is embroiled in controversy following reports of employee layoffs conducted via phone calls, allegedly bypassing standard notice periods. This news comes amidst Byju's ongoing financial struggles and legal disputes, raising concerns about the company's treatment of its workforce.

 

According to sources reported by Moneycontrol, Byju's informed employees of their termination through phone calls, followed by emails confirming their last working day as March 31, 2024. These emails reportedly made no mention of a notice period, a standard practice in India, and instructed employees to return company property and inquire about severance pay via a specific email address.

 

Estimates suggest the layoffs could impact anywhere between 100 and 500 employees, with the sales division bearing the brunt of the reductions. This news adds to the over 10,000 employees already let go by Byju's in the past two years as the company grapples with financial difficulties and legal battles with investors. Byju's current Indian workforce is estimated to be around 14,000.

 

Byju's maintains that these actions are part of a pre-announced business restructuring exercise initiated in October 2023. The company spokesperson claims the restructuring aims to simplify operations, reduce costs, and improve cash flow. They acknowledge the "extraordinary situation" caused by ongoing legal issues and the resulting stress on employees and the company ecosystem.

 

Employee Concerns and Ethical Questions

Byju's decision to bypass standard notification procedures for layoffs has drawn criticism. Employees who received these phone calls report feeling blindsided and disrespected by the lack of proper communication. The short notice period creates significant challenges for these individuals as they scramble for new employment opportunities.

 

Labor law experts point out that while companies have the right to restructure their workforce, legal guidelines mandate providing employees with a reasonable notice period or paying them compensation in lieu of notice. Byju's actions raise questions about the company's adherence to these regulations.

 

Financial Woes and Uncertain Future

Byju's, once a shining star in the Indian EdTech sector, has faced a series of setbacks in recent times. The company's aggressive acquisition spree has strained its finances, leading to a valuation markdown and delays in employee salary payments. Additionally, ongoing legal disputes with investors have further complicated the situation.

 

The latest round of layoffs reflects Byju's attempts to navigate these financial challenges. However, the company's approach has drawn criticism for its impact on employee morale and potential violation of labor laws.

 

The Road Ahead for Byju's

Byju's needs to address the concerns raised by the recent layoffs. The company must ensure it is adhering to legal requirements regarding employee termination and severance pay. Additionally, improving communication and transparency with the remaining workforce is crucial to rebuild trust and company morale.

 

Byju's future hinges on its ability to resolve its financial and legal issues. The company needs to develop a sustainable growth strategy that prioritizes responsible financial management and fosters a positive work environment for its employees. Only then can Byju's regain its footing and reclaim its position as a leader in the EdTech industry.

 


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