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Paytm employees cry foul over 'voluntarily resign' ask; claim no prior notice given, severance pay denied

The employees have alleged that the company is trying to show the layoffs as voluntary resignations so that the company doesn’t have to pay any severance and that it can clawback the joining and retention bonuses. Paytm has denied the allegations around forced resignations.

Paytm employees cry foul over 'voluntarily resign' ask; claim no prior notice given, severance pay denied gcw
First Published Jun 14, 2024, 11:58 AM IST

As the cost restructuring efforts at the fintech giant Paytm, several employees in the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led company allege that they have been asked to forcefully resign.

"I started crying at the meeting. I told them that I was willing to work even at a lower salary and designation," said a Paytm employee who is staring at an imminent job cut. The employee received a call late last month from HR executives informing him that his position will be removed as part of an organisational restructure and requesting that he submit his resignation by early June.

Many employees are being asked to "voluntarily resign" without being given any prior notice, some have been denied severance pay, and many are being asked to repay the company for their joining and retention bonuses. Several former and current Paytm employees told TOI that they are facing an uncertain future following RBI's decision to close Paytm Payments Bank and the wallet business.

A review of a few of Paytm's offer letters showed that the amount of joining and retention bonuses will be "recoverable" by the company if they "leave the employment" before 18 months of taking up the role. For those whose offers letters do not include the termination clause, Paytm's justification is that it is mentioned in their appointment letters which were provided after joining. 

The company has advised the affected workers not to record any HR meetings and has not provided any official correspondence explaining the restructuring process and the ensuing job losses. "Connect" or "discussion" are the call labels assigned to HRs. An employee said, "There isn't any official paperwork at all."

Paytm has refuted the allegations. Speaking on the issue, the company said, "We strongly deny allegations pertaining to any forced action on employees or unfair treatment. We have rigorously ensured that our HR teams have informed employees about their termination through official channels only. Further, we would also emphasise that all transitions are duly undertaken as per norms laid out in the appointment letter of these employees."

"Our focus remains on building a leaner organisation that is well-positioned to deliver long-term sustainable growth and value to our stakeholders. We remain committed to supporting our employees during this transition," it added.

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