jobs in tech

Government to consult tech giants over Irish job losses, Taoiseach says

It comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar met with senior officials from the IDA today for briefings on the tech sector.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 7th 2022, 8:26 PM

THE TAOISEACH HAS said the Government is to consult tech giants whose Ireland-based employees are at risk of redundancy.

Micheál Martin said there are issues within the digital sector and he is concerned over the potential job losses in the state.

He made the comments as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar met with officials from the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) over job losses at Twitter and the broader situation within the global tech sector.

The social media giant told Ireland-based staff that it will comply with Irish company law that requires it to engage with the Minister for Enterprise about its redundancy plans.

It is expected to enter a 30-day consultation period with staff, during which time they are not required to work or attend the office.

In a statement this evening, Varadkar said that his main concern is for staff and families of those who will be impacted by job losses in the tech sector.

However, he said that no international firm is considering closing their Irish base.

“We will assist any employees affected as they seek alternative employment or other opportunities,” Varadkar said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Enterprise said that Varadkar had not yet received a collective redundancy notification from Twitter.

“The Tánaiste expects all employers to comply with their legal obligations under the Protection of Employment Act 1977, as amended,” the spokesperson said.

“This requires a 30-day consultation with employees and their representatives where collective redundancies are proposed. It also requires the company to inform the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment not less than 30 days before the first dismissals.”

Varadkar added that there was a “strong pipeline” of overseas and Irish investment in sectors, including tech, saying that there was high demand for tech, marketing and other skills at present.

Speaking in Egypt at the COP27 conference, Martin said: “We will consult with all the various companies. I have been concerned for some time in terms of the global economic situation because of the war in Ukraine and the implications across Europe and the world, the migration and so on.

“But that said, we have bounced back strongly from Covid-19, we do export heavily on what we produce so what happens globally has an impact on Ireland. So our challenge is to make sure that we will engage with the IDA and companies.

“We have faced this situation before, where we consolidate, we look for new opportunities in times when it picks up again in those particular sectors.

“There are issues clearly in the digital area, we are always concerned whether there is potential job losses.

“But we always tend to look at it with a view of, OK, there are realities out there that we can’t change globally, how do we deal with this domestically and how do we regroup, what new opportunities are out there in these sectors?”

Employees at Twitter received an email on Friday morning advising them not to go into the office as their badge access was being suspended.

One former Irish Twitter employee tweeted last week: “Woke up to the sad news that I’m no longer a Tweep. I loved every single moment working on the global @TwitterComms team, collaborating with and learning from an outstanding group of talented people.” 

Another employee that has been laid off in Ireland tweeted: “I loved this company with all my heart. I was incredibly proud to work here for nearly five years learning from the best people but all good things come to an end.” 

Ireland is host to several tech giants’ European headquarters, including Twitter, Google and Facebook.

It has also emerged that Meta, the Facebook parent group, is planning layoffs this week that will affect thousands of staff.

The announcement is expected to be made on Wednesday.

As of 30 September, Meta had about 87,000 employees worldwide across its different platforms, which include social media sites Facebook and Instagram as well as messaging platform Whatsapp.

Approximately 3,000 of these employees are located in Ireland, according to Silicon Republic.

With additional reporting by Jamie McCarron, Tadgh McNally, Press Association and © AFP 2022 

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