Employment Law

Netflix to trim animation unit, shutting down two films


Layoffs are reportedly looming at Netflix as the streaming giant prepares to restructure its animation unit.

According to news outlets, including Variety, the company is planning to begin job cuts in the coming weeks. It remains unclear how many workers will be affected by the reduction.

In addition to the layoffs, two films in pre-production are being shut down as part of the restructuring.

The announcement comes as Netflix Animation celebrates a number of major milestones. Earlier this year, the division took the Academy Award for best animated feature for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

According to Netflix’s LinkedIn page, the company employs a total workforce of more than 15,500 people. Over 200 workers are located in Canada.

Major layoffs continue

The potential job cuts at Netflix come amid a flurry of layoffs in 2023.

Major North American companies, including Amazon, Twitch, Hopper, Epic Games, Google, Roku, Dell, Telus, and Meta, have significantly scaled back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

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Termination agreements for Netflix employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Netflix 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.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for film industry staff
Severance packages during mass layoffs

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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