Microsoft reportedly cuts its entire Xbox One R&D division in China in latest round of layoffs

Back in July, Microsoft announced the largest wave of layoffs in its history, with 18,000 jobs set to be cut around the world, including 12,500 staff who had joined the company with its acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business.

Those employees were not all given their marching orders on the spot, though, and the process of restructuring the organization and laying off staff continues, with the most recent round of cuts last Wednesday affecting 3,000 people.

As Shenzhen Business News reports, it appears that another Microsoft division has now been hit by the cuts. It claims that the company has completely disbanded its division working on research and development (R&D) for the Xbox One in China, dismissing all of the more than 80 staff that had been working there.

According to the report, Microsoft gave no advance notifications of its plans to close the division. On Friday, an all-hands meeting was called at short notice, at which the workforce was informed that the division would be closed, and that all Xbox One R&D work was being relocated to the US. Human resources managers then offered staff a severance package worth around $2,560 USD, along with one month's salary.

Many staff reportedly refused to accept this as a respectable pay-out, and so far, it is said that none have signed the dismissal agreement with which the company has asked them to comply - and with good reason: the workers potentially have much to gain from holding out.

In Chinese law, companies must give at least one month's notice to staff if they are to be laid off, and if they fail to do so, workers must be paid a sizeable compensation package. This works out as the employee's monthly salary, multiplied by the number of years they've worked at the company times two, plus two further months of their regular salary.

The report cites a source claiming that Microsoft's legal department will directly contact those staff who refuse to sign the dismissal agreement - i.e. everyone - and then "everything will be done in accordance with Chinese laws". These people have now lost their jobs, but it appears that those affected may at least get a more appropriate compensation package than they were allegedly offered.

Source: Shenzhen Business Times via ZDNet

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