Toronto-based development agency Rangle.io has made the decision to initiate temporary layoffs for 78 employees, as financial pressure on Canadian companies grow with the current global crisis.
“For Rangle, this has had a devastating impact on our 2020 projections.”
Rangle’s decision comes less than two months after the company let go of approximately 40 employees, which, at the time, represented around 14 percent of the overall company. According to the company’s LinkedIn account, it currently has 246 employees. The temporary layoffs represent around 30 percent of the company.
Rangle is the latest Canadian company to make the decision to layoff employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, tech organization #MoveTheDial announced that it has paused operations, also temporarily laying off its 21 person team. A temporary layoff under Ontario law is typically when an employer cuts back or stops the employee’s work without ending his or her employment.
In a LinkedIn post, Rangle founder and CEO Nick Van Weerdenburg stated that Rangle made the decision to let go of 78 employees in order to protect its teams, clients, and overall businesses “in a way that will enable us to best navigate these uncertain times and make it through to the other side.”
In a statement to BetaKit, the CEO cited a slowing or halt of purchasing and new business efforts, caused by economic measures taken during the spread of COVID-19. He noted that many companies are taking work that Rangle would traditionally do in-house, while others have stopped all external vendor relationships.
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“For Rangle, this has had a devastating impact on our 2020 projections,” Van Weerdenburg said. “And it is still unclear what the long-term financial ramifications of this pandemic will have on the global economy.”
“When you lead a business there are many hard days, but nothing prepares you for the global issues we’re facing right now. It has forced us to move quickly and decisively – and the hard truth is that a temporary layoff is a necessary course of action,” Van Weerdenburg wrote online.
While these most recent Rangle layoffs were caused by the current financial climate facing many companies, this is at least the third round of layoffs for Rangle over the past couple of years. The January layoffs came less than a year after Rangle let go of 14 employees, shortly after chief technology officer Yuri Takhteyev departed the company. At the time a Rangle spokesperson called 2018’s layoffs a restructuring meant to help it become more lean and agile, as well as a way to scale and expand on a global level. In January, former Rangle employees who spoke to BetaKit (under the condition of anonymity) expressed concerns over the company’s valuation proposition and target market.
In addition to letting go of staff, Rangle is reconfiguring how the company operates. Van Weerdenburg wrote in his online statement that Rangle is “strengthening [its] ability to deliver transformative solutions for clients at a time when they’re going to need them most.” He added that the company’s goal is to be in a position that will allow it to rehire its temporarily laid-off employees.
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“While I’m sure we won’t be the first company you’ll hear about, it doesn’t make it any easier for me,” said Van Weerdenburg. “I only wish we were in the same position as global companies like Microsoft and Google. Sadly that is not the case.”
The CEO noted that Rangle is working to support affected employees and is extending “key benefits” through the layoff period. He added that the company’s human resources team is “doing everything in their power to help people through this temporary layoff and will also act as recruiters on behalf of anyone who wishes to find an alternate role.”
Camas Winsor, chief operating officer at Rangle, noted on LinkedIn that she is working to support those employees and asked companies in the Canadian tech community that are hiring to consider Rangle employees looking for work.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian economy have been swift, with a majority of small businesses, which make up around 96 percent of Canadian companies, seeing big hits to their revenue. A database of out-of-work Canadian startup employees, started last week, has garnered more than 1,000 people looking for jobs, as of Wednesday afternoon.
Image source Glassdoor