Employment Law

Nokia Layoffs: 14,000 jobs slashed, streamlining operating model

A photo of various cables plugged into outlets. (Photo: John Barkiple / Unsplash)

Approximately 14,000 jobs could be on the chopping block at Nokia.

In a news release on Oct. 19, the Finnish telecom giant announced that it’s planning to reduce its 86,000-person workforce to a “72,000 [to] 77,000-employee organization” as the company resets its cost-base.

“The most difficult business decisions to make are the ones that impact our people. We have immensely talented employees at Nokia and we will support everyone that is affected by this process,” President and CEO Pekka Lundmark said in the release.

“Resetting the cost-base is a necessary step to adjust to market uncertainty and to secure our long-term profitability and competitiveness. We remain confident about opportunities ahead of us.”

Nokia expects the job cuts to reduce staffing expenses by 10-15 per cent — saving the business at least US$421.4 million in 2024 alone.

Streamlining operating model

In addition to the layoffs, Nokia is streamlining its operating model and creating dedicated sales teams.

“Dedicated sales teams with a strong product and customer connection will enable business groups to better seize growth opportunities with our existing and new customers and diversify into enterprise, webscale and government sectors,” the company said in the release.

“[These teams] will collaborate across Nokia to ensure customers continue to benefit from the breadth of all [that] Nokia offers.”

Nokia added that it’s also moving to a “leaner” corporate centre, which will provide “strategic oversight and guidelines” on a variety of matters, including financial performance, portfolio development, and compliance.

Impact on Canadian staff

It remains unclear how many Canadian workers will be affected by the latest round of layoffs at Nokia.

According to the company’s website, it employs more than 2,300 people across the country.

Major tech layoffs continue

The workforce reduction at Nokia comes amid a flurry of tech sector layoffs in 2023.

Big names, including LinkedIn, Amazon, Twitch, Epic Games, Google, 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 Nokia employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Nokia 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 technology industry employees
Severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance packages in 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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