Evolution to Face off in Court with GWU over NetEnt Redundancies

The Superior Court of Malta has set a hearing date for December 17 as a response to a General Workers Union complaint filed in relation to Evolution rendering 324 NetEnt employees redundant.

Courts to Weigh in on NetEnt Redundancies Case

The Superior Court of Malta has issued an injunction that has put a stop to the pending redundancies affecting 324 NetEnt employees, as the court prepares to examine a complaint filed by the General Workers Union (GWU) in the form of an industrial dispute against Evolution.

Evolution finalized the acquisition of NetEnt on Tuesday last week and immediately delivered the news that NetEnt employees, and specifically those working on NetEnt Live products, have until the end of the business day to leave NetEnt’s premises, as they were rendered redundant.

The move affected employees in Stockholm, Krakow, and London, as well as the live studio in Qormi. It seems the two worst impacted locations were Krakow, where the studio closed down, and Qormi.

News about job losses were not entirely new, as Evolution had stated in the past that following the acquisition of NetEnt, the company would seek to cut down NetEnt Live and most of the jobs tied to the division.

NetEnt employees were surprised to find out that over 300 of them, with another report claiming that over 500 could be impacted eventually, would be made redundant.

News about the redundancies prompted an outpouring of support on LinkedIn, a business social media network, with industry headhunters, executives and fellow colleagues sounding the alarm to assist their colleagues in securing new jobs.

How Did It Come to This?

When the GWU raised the alarm this Sunday, the trade union stated that it had not been informed about the redundancies along with important details that the union is entitled to as an official employee representative.

Among the detail missed were the reasons for the redundancies, the number of affected employees, as well as any expected redundancies packages. As GamblingNews understands, Evolution dealt with another employee representative and not the union.

Meanwhile, an article published in The Times of Malta claimed that Evolution had “popped the champagne” as soon as the news was delivered to employees, something that Evolution sternly denied, arguing that its representatives were on the premises and talking to NetEnt employees through the details and answering questions about their employment status.

According to EGR, another leading industry publication, GWU and Evolution had several meetings to discuss the redundancies, but nothing has come out of them. Now, a special hearing has been scheduled, with the Superior Court of Malta to hear arguments from both sides.

Speaking to Malta Independent, the GWU had this to say: “We will continue to insist that NetEnt and Evolution honor their consultation obligations in full, and we will do our utmost to ensure that jobs are saved, and, where that is not possible, that appropriate compensation is paid”

The trade group also took the opportunity to thank the court for stepping in and setting up a hearing date for what the GWU described as “illegal dismissal of staff”.

Are Evolution the Bad Guys?

It’s hard to imagine Evolution as the bad guys here. The company has been one of the most accomplished providers of live casino software and now, with NetEnt’s own accomplishments, the resulting iGaming behemoth is an example of economic as well as industry success.

Evolution posted strong Q3 results and the company remains on a growth trajectory for both Q4 and 2021.

NetEnt, though, is no stranger to optimizing in a way that makes business sense. In 2018, the company cut 55 jobs at its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden in a bid to boost content production in the coming years.

According to WhosWho, another Maltese publication, in its complaint to the court, the GWU explained that the employee representative Evolution spoke to was “dismissive of employees’ pleas” and was appointed in breach of regulations.

It’s the court’s time to act.

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