Edtech company Byju’s is facing allegations of forcing employees to immediately resign in Bengaluru, according to a news agency IANS report quoting sources. The development comes days after a number of Byju’s employees met Kerala Labour Minister V Sivankutty and alleged that the startup is asking staff to resign as the company looks to discontinue operations in Thiruvananthapuram. However, Byju’s in its response said it is false that Byju’s is “forcing” employees to resign.
According to the report, Karnataka State IT/ ITeS Employees Union (KITU) has said Byju’s is laying off staff in its Bengaluru headquarters. KITU Secretary Sooraj Nidiyanga said the employees are reluctant to resign but are being forced and the HR department is indulging in getting resignations forcefully from employees.
However, Nidiyanga, according to the IANS report, said no written communication has been circulated regarding layoffs from the company. “For the past one week, the HR department has been calling employees and asking them to submit their resignations voluntarily,” the report said.
However, Byju’s in a statement on Saturday said, “It is absolutely false that Byju’s is forcing employees to resign. Byju’s is a responsible organisation and follows all laws of the land. Byju’s employs nearly 50,000 people across India. Around five per cent, or 2,500, of these positions are being rationalised as part of Byju’s current strategic plan to grow profitably and sustainably.”
It added that each of the employees who are affected by the restructuring is being informed individually with the empathy that they deserve and need at this time. Byju’s is providing all of them a progressive exit package, including extended family health insurance benefits, outplacement services led by some of the industry’s best recruitment specialists, fast-track full-and-final settlement on demand and the provision of ‘garden leave’ where they can look for jobs while on Byju’s payroll.
“All these employees will also be offered an assured path to return to BYJU’S in case they are unable to find a job in the next 12 months in new roles that are more relevant and productive for both the company and the employees,” Byju’s said.
Earlier this week, Kerala Labour Minister V Sivankutty in a Facebook post said, “At techno park, Thiruvananthapuram Employees of Byju’s app came and met me with the office bearers of IT employees welfare organisation Echo of Technopark. Employees have many complaints including job losses. The labor department will conduct a serious inspection in this matter.”
TechnoparkToday, a community digital media platform for IT professionals, in a LinkedIn post also said Byju’s, which has an office in the Carnival building of Technopark, is planning to exit Kerala’s capital.
It said, “Byju’s Think & Learn Private Limited working in Carnival building, Technopark is planning to stop its operations from Trivandrum without any prior notice to employees. More than 170 employees are working in their centre at Technopark. The company management is enforcing employees for forceful resignation.”
Recently, Byju’s said it will lay off about 2,500 employees across departments to cut costs amid mounting losses. “To avoid redundancies and duplication of roles, and by leveraging technology better, around five percent of BYJU’S 50,000-strong workforce is expected to be rationalised across product, content, media, and technology teams in a phased manner,” said the company in a statement.
The company booked a loss of Rs 4,588 crore for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, 19 times more than the preceding fiscal, as the nation’s most valuable startup on Thursday released audited financial statements after months of delay.
Byju’s losses in the financial year 2020-21 widened from Rs 231.69 crore in 2019-20. Revenues during FY21 dropped to Rs 2,428 crore from Rs 2,511 crore in FY20. But in the following fiscal, ending March 31, 2022, the company said revenue soared four-fold to Rs 10,000 crore but it did not reveal profit or loss numbers for that year.
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