Upon becoming the new CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk has fired the entire board. 

The world’s richest man has now completed the $44bn takeover of the social media platform, subsequently announcing that he will be the sole director.

Mr Musk has already announced many changes that he will be making. One of the major changes includes charging celebrities and influencers a monthly fee for the infamous blue verification tick.

However, what are the legal implications of Mr Musk’s dismissal of the entire board?

 

Samantha Dickinson, Partner, Mayo Wynne Baxter, comments: 

“It is not yet clear whether any restructuring and layoffs will affect UK or US-based employees, but those in charge of HR at Twitter on this side of the pond will have undoubtedly informed Musk that we have procedures and processes that should be followed before a decision to dismiss is made.   

 “In the UK, if it is envisaged that a restructure might result in redundancies, an employer is obliged to consult with its staff or their elected representatives at an early stage. An employee with over two years’ service can bring an unfair dismissal claim if an employer has not fairly consulted with them or does not fairly select them from the pool of those who are at risk of redundancy.   

“Twitter will need to consider whether it can avoid making compulsory redundancies or reduce the number of compulsory redundancies (for example by looking at alternative roles) before a decision to dismiss is made.    

“Where 20 or more employees are being made redundant over a period of 90 days or less, an employer has additional duties as to the timing of their consultation and also has to notify the Secretary of State in advance of any dismissal taking effect. A failure to comply with these additional obligations can result in a tribunal awarding up to 90 days’ pay in respect of each employee – as well as an award for the unfairness of any dismissal that does not flow from a fair process.   

 “Slipping up can prove costly for employers but as we saw with P&O Ferries, Musk has probably already factored in the likely expense involved in dismissing at will those who he does not want onboard as Twitter sails into its new future.”

 

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.