Some Revolut staff members claim that they have been pressured into leaving their jobs and taking salary cuts as the company applied cost-saving measures.
According to an investigation from Wired, Revolut pressured mentioned employees to pick between two documents – one terminating employment for “underperformance”, the other cited a “mutual agreement” including a small severance that counted as the employee leaving of their own accord.
Krakow-based customer support agent Elena was offered this deal and she was shocked. According to her statement, just two weeks earlier, her manager had assured her that her job was safe and that she was performing well.
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“I thought maybe I should speak to another institution for legal advice because I am a foreigner,” Elena says. “But they said I had no additional time and that I have 30 minutes to make this decision.”
Fearful for her career, Elena ended up choosing the mutual agreement. Elena is one of more than 50 employees in Poland and Portugal who were pushed into leaving their jobs.
These employees are not included in the 62 layoffs officially announced by Revolut – because they technically agreed to leave. Revolut says redundancies represented 3% of its staff.
“It was pretty stressful. In my friend’s team two people were fired two hours before their shift with no warning,” says a former staff member who was dismissed in May to Wired.
Polish employment lawyer Grzegorz Ilnicki says the termination agreement given to Elena was not only missing key details required by law, but that forcing her to choose between that document and a “mutual agreement” could be illegal.
In Poland, some Revolut employees say they were told they were underperforming and would be terminated if they didn’t leave voluntarily. In Portugal, mutual agreements stated 40% reductions in the group’s activity and a 30% excess in staff numbers.
With these actions, Revolut has avoided a group redundancy consultation, as well as avoiding severance payments and having to offer alternative roles within the company. Lawyers have told Wired that these actions can be read as unlawful, citing “criminal threat” and “harassment” in their findings.
Revolut’s staff in Krakow and Porto have also claimed they felt pressured into the “Salary share swap scheme”, which saw Revolut ask employees to “volunteer” their wages for twice the value in shares, which are priced at $121.4015 each.
However, this scheme seems to be illegal in Portugal as well. Filipe Lamelas, a labour lawyer and assistant researcher at Portugal’s Collaborative Laboratory for Labour, Employment and Social Protection, told Wired “according to Portuguese law, the base salary cannot be reduced even by agreement”.
A Revolut spokesperson has acknowledged this and says the fintech is still reviewing how it can roll out a similar scheme in this jurisdiction.
EDIT: After this article was published a source that decided to stay anonymous has contacted us with the following: “Regarding your article about Revolut, the same happened in the London office. People were told that they are performing very well, the next couple of days I got the same talk, to choose between sacking for underperformance or mutual agreement with one months pay.”