The labor ministry will launch an investigation to determine whether the recent wave of resignations at Amazon India constituted illegal layoffs in violation of labor rules or terms of service. After receiving a report of mass layoffs in violation of regulations made to labor minister Bhupender Yadav by the Nascent Information Technology Employees’ Senate (NITES), a collective of IT professionals with over 18,000 members, the ministry delivered a warning to Amazon India last week.

Amazon India management responded that no employees had been fired. However, several employees quit after adopting the e-commerce firm’s “voluntary separation program.”. According to Harpreet Singh Saluja, president of NITES, who has accused the company of violating labor laws, the company stated in its internal communication to employees that those who do not opt for the voluntary separation program will be retrenched without any benefits under a “workforce optimization program.”


According to estimates, Amazon planned to let off around 10,000 individuals in business and technical jobs internationally beginning last week, in what would be the greatest job layoffs in the company’s history. 

Regulations to look for

Amazon India announced plans to discontinue its food delivery service in Bengaluru by the end of 2022. It also includes other ed-tech operations in the nation. On Thursday, the business announced the closure of Amazon Academy, an online learning platform for high school students in India.

The ministry will also contact employees who choose the voluntary leave option to check the company’s statements. In response to whether the government may meddle in the operations of a private firm, the official stated that the ministry’s job is to ensure uninterrupted labor regulations. We will make sure to safeguard the rights of the workers and hear their issues. Otherwise, we will follow the law, the official stated.

After being asked by the labor ministry to appear before the deputy chief labor commissioner in Bengaluru on Wednesday over the layoffs, Amazon India stated that it had not dismissed any employees and had only let go of those who had accepted the voluntary separation program (VSP).

According to sources, Amazon’s experience and technology team has urged some Indian employees in the L1-L7 band to voluntarily leave. The corporation informed these employees that they are qualified for the VSP. According to the company’s announcement, eligible employees will be able to voluntarily retire in return for VSP benefits. 

Layoffs Across Companies

Prior to Amazon, Meta, and Twitter fired off staff as part of worldwide IT industry layoffs. On November 9, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms, announced that the firm has decided to cut its team size by around 13% and lay off over 11,000 employees. Twitter has also laid off 50% of its workforce.

Google and HP are also preparing to lay off employees. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is apparently planning to lay off 10,000 “low-performing” employees, or 6% of its staff. Enrique Lores, CEO of US IT giant HP, has also stated that the company plans to reduce its headcount by 4,000 to 6,000 people over the next three years. He noted that, while these are difficult decisions, he is acting in the best interests of the organization.

Big Tech is a worldwide company, and India could not have ignored the devastation. K-12 or EdTech companies providing 12 years of school education online also have severe impacts. They ramped up in response to the Covid-stay-at-home demand earlier.

This sector has already witnessed approximately 7,000 layoffs in the calendar of 2022. Unacademy, for example, has laid off approximately 1,350 employees in 2-3 tranches, and Byju’s is laying off approximately 2,500 people. As of December 31, 2021, Amazon has roughly 1,608,000 full-time and part-time employees, excluding temporary contractors and part-timers.

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