Employment Law

Universal Music Group cutting jobs in 2024, evolving ‘organizational structure’

A photo of a person wearing headphones and looking out at a street. (Photo: Henry Be / Unsplash)

Universal Music Group (UMG) is scaling back its staffing levels to kick off 2024.

What’s happening at Universal Music Group?

According to news outlets, including Bloomberg, UMG could cut hundreds of jobs in the first quarter — with its recorded music division expected to bear the brunt of the layoffs.

While the world’s largest record label confirmed that it’s letting staff go, it didn’t specify how many positions will be affected.

In a memo to staff, CEO Lucian Grainge noted that the company remains focused on building its direct-to-customer and e-commerce operations.

“In 2024, as we continue…investments in A&R and artist development, we will further evolve our organizational structure to create efficiencies in other areas of the business,” Grainge said in the memo that was obtained by Reuters.

At the end of 2022, UMG employed a total workforce of approximately 10,000 people, according to regulatory filings.

Layoffs at Universal Music Canada

It remains unclear if Canadian employees will be affected by the latest reduction at UMG.

Universal Music Canada’s LinkedIn page claims that it has more than 130 workers in the country.

Termination agreements for Universal Music Canada staff

In Canada, non-unionized employees at UMG 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.

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.

If you don’t receive the correct amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and should take legal action.

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

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance during mass layoffs
Severance entitlements during a recession

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Major layoffs continue

UMG isn’t the only major employer reducing their workforce in 2024.

Other big names, including Citigroup, BlackRock, Indigo, Discord, Google, Amazon, Twitch, Unity, and Xerox, have also pulled out the axe as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
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Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Lost your job? Talk to an employment lawyer

If you have been fired or let go for any reason, contact the experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

In addition to severance package negotiations, we can assist you on a broad range of employment matters, including:

If you are a non-unionized employee who needs help with a workplace issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

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