Twitter to enter 30-day consultation period with Irish staff affected by lay-offs

Company will continue paying employees during consultation process

Twitter is set to enter consultation with Irish employees who are being affected by layoffs announced on Friday, it has emerged, days after locking staff out of systems amid “random and indiscriminate” job culls.

In an email seen by The Irish Times, the social media network said it would enter into a 30-day consultation period with affected employees. Twitter said it would continue to pay staff for the duration of the consultation period, but staff would have to stay out of the office.

The company employs about 500 people at its European headquarters in Dublin, with about 50 per cent of staff at risk.

Twitter began large-scale job cuts last week following billionaire Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform, with about 50 per cent of its global workforce said to be affected. Twitter’s Irish staff woke on Friday morning to find their offices had been closed and access to its IT systems had been shut off in “order to protect the security of our confidential information and user data”.


Twitter employees here took to the platform throughout Friday saying that they were no longer working for the company. Sources described the process of selecting those jobs to be culled as “indiscriminate and random”, calling it “carnage”.

The company sent communications to the personal emails of staff under threat of being made redundant. The notice stated that “does not mean that we have made any final decisions in relation to this process or your role”, adding that workers would have the opportunity to “express their views” via “employee representatives” who would be elected by staff shortly.

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But questions have been raised about the legality of the process after it emerged the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar had not been told of any decision to begin laying off Irish staff, which is a legal requirement for collective redundancies in Ireland.

In the latest email sent to staff, Twitter said it would comply with the law and notify the Minister of its plans, along with the identity of the employee representatives, once elected.

The Twitter lay-offs and fears over jobs at Meta in Ireland have sparked wider concern about the tech industry here. The Facebook parent company is expected to announce cutbacks on Wednesday amid a slowdown in the global economy.

Speaking at Cop27 in Egypt on Monday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government would be consulting with all Irish-based technology companies about potential job losses in the sector. “I have been concerned for some time in terms of the global economic situation because of the war in Ukraine and the implications for Europe and the world.”

Ireland, he underlined, had always bounced back very strongly when similar difficulties arose in the past, as had happened post-Covid, Mr Martin added. “We will engage with the IDA and the companies. We faced this situation before, where we consolidated and we picked up again.”

Mr Martin accepted there were issues in the digital area, and that “there are realities out there globally”.

Ireland, he said, had always looked at “how to we deal with this domestically, how do we regroup, are what opportunities are out there in these sectors?”

It was about helping employees who might be laid off but “we should not panic”, he added. Other sectors were growing, while foreign direct investment was at record levels last year and looked like it would be repeated this year.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times