Employment Law

Citigroup beginning layoffs, part of CEO’s corporate overhaul

A photo of a person working at a desk covered in multiple items. (Photo: charlesdeluvio / Unsplash

A variety of jobs are on the chopping block at Citigroup as the bank streamlines its business.

According to news outlets, including CNBC, the company plans to begin laying off staff on Nov. 15. New dismissals are expected to be announced daily through early next week.

People with knowledge of the situation claim that the initial cuts will affect chiefs of staff, managing directors, and some lower level employees. By February, more rank-and-file positions will be impacted.

The move comes roughly two months after Citigroup announced in a news release that it was taking steps to simplify its operating model.

“I am determined that our bank will deliver to our full potential, and we’re making bold decisions to meet our commitments to all our stakeholders,” CEO Jane Fraser said in the Sept. 13 release.

“These changes eliminate unnecessary complexity across the bank, increase accountability for delivering excellent client service and strengthen our ability to benefit from the natural linkages that exist amongst our businesses, all with an eye toward delivering on our medium-term targets and our transformation.”

Reports claim that Fraser expects the “final changes” to be complete by the end of March 2024.

Impact on Canadian staff

It remains unclear if Canadian workers will be affected by the layoffs at Citigroup.

According to Citi Canada’s website, the company employs approximately 1,700 people across the country — with offices in Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Major layoffs continue

The latest reduction at Citigroup comes amid a flurry of layoffs in 2023.

Big names, including Manulife, National Bank, RBC, Desjardins, BMO, Canadian Tire, Amazon, PwC, Maersk, Nokia, and Ubisoft, have announced deep job cuts as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

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Termination agreements for Citi Canada employees

Ahead of the layoffs, Citigroup’s human resources chief told staff that the bank will offer severance pay where eligible. The company added that affected workers might be able to apply for other positions.

In Canada, non-unionized employees at the bank are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Rights to severance for federally regulated employees
Severance entitlements during mass layoffs
Severance packages in a recession

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains why you are still owed severance if you have been downsized on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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