Employment Law

Unity Software laying off 3.8% of staff, shuttering offices

A photo of a person using a keyboard and computer mouse. (Photo: ELLA DON / Unsplash)

After hinting at more layoffs in its Q3 2023 earnings release, Unity Software (Unity) is pulling out the axe again.

According to news outlets, including Reuters, the video game software provider is cutting 3.8 per cent of its total workforce, or 265 jobs.

Affected staff are reportedly associated with an agreement that Unity is ending with Weta Fx, which is movie director Peter Jackson’s visual effects company.

The reduction marks the company’s third mass layoff of the year. More than 280 employees were let go in January and approximately 600 were eliminated in May.

In addition to the job cuts, Unity plans to:

  • Close 14 locations, which includes its offices in Berlin and Singapore
  • No longer mandate that staff need to work from their respective offices at least three days a week
  • Reduce “full in-office services” to three days a week at most of its locations

The company employs a total workforce of approximately 7,000 people, according to reports.

Impact on Canadian staff

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

According to the company’s LinkedIn page, it employs more than 1,400 workers in Canada.

Major tech layoffs continue

Unity isn’t the only major tech company to announce sweeping layoffs in 2023.

Big names, including Ubisoft, Bungie, Broadcom, ByteDance, Amazon, Informatica, Splunk, and Nokia, have significantly scaled back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

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• Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Termination agreements for Unity employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Unity 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 tech sector workers
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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