Can You Fire Employees Over Zoom?

Recently in the US, the boss of a mortgage firm terminated the employment of 900 members of staff over a video call, with little consideration for their wellbeing.

It was reported that the Chief Executive announced redundancies over a mass video call, saying: “We are laying off about 15 per cent of the company… If you’re on this call you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off. Your employment here is terminated. Effective immediately.”

There is currently no law in the US to protect employees. Facing fierce criticism, he later apologised for the way he made the redundancies, but the damage was already done.

Next, we heard that P&O Ferries broke UK law when laying off 800 staff by video message and without consulting the workers’ unions. They ultimately replaced them with low-wage agency staff. P&O Ferries continue to face criticism for their handling of the situation.

As an employer, it helps everyone when employees are treated with compassion and empathy. People will feel less upset when they are treated with dignity and offered wellbeing support throughout the redundancy process, however you deliver the news. Vital statutory protections for workers facing redundancy mean they have the right to be consulted individually as well as collectively depending on the numbers involved.

Failing to follow the proper processes means risking claims of unfair dismissal and financial penalties.

For advice on the best way to discuss members of staff, please call me on 0118 940 3032 or email

Source: Why Employers Should Not Fire People Over Zoom – Francis Churchill, People Management