PC WORLD exclusive: This is how Klarna fires, the amount of the severance payment & creative reactions

Klarna fires around 10 percent of its employees – at least in some cases via video link. That’s how much Klarna pays the dismissed. They should sign a termination agreement. Update: reactions of those affected.

Affected Klarna employees are now expressing their frustration on job platforms such as LinkedIn. Well-known Klarna formulations such as “Klarnaut” or “Smoooth Payments” are satirized in hashtags. So “Klarnaut” – that’s what Klarna employees are called internally in emails – becomes “KlarnOUT” and “Smoooth Payments” becomes “SmooothlyOUT”. Here’s an example:

This screenshot shows the reaction of a laid-off Klarna employee on Linkedin.


This screenshot shows the reaction of a laid-off Klarna employee on Linkedin.

update end

On May 23, 2022 at 4 p.m. German time, Klarna informed its employees internally via a recorded video message that the Swedish company would be laying off ten percent of its employees: Klarna is laying off 10 percent of its employees – via video message. Also on May 23, Klarna informed the public about the mass layoffs affecting around 700 people worldwide. According to Klarna, on the same day (May 23, 2022), Klarna began to inform the first affected employees that they would have to leave the payment service provider.

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Termination, at least in some cases, by video link

PC-WELT spoke to European Klarna employees who are now being laid off. Accordingly, Klarna informed the employees concerned of the dismissal, at least in some cases, via video conference. Although these are 1:1 conversations (as promised by Klarna: “personal, individual conversation”), the participants were not sitting in the same room. Instead, the employee sat at their workplace or in their home office and the other person sat – at least in some cases – in Sweden. The respective team leaders were apparently not involved in the decision as to who had to go. By the way, Klarna not only fires “simple” employees, but according to our information even team leaders.

Klarna justifies the video switch to PC-WELT as follows: “Klarna is a highly international company, English is the working language and many teams are spread over several countries, if not even continents. That some conversations on an individual level, but via video Conference taking place is simply normal.”

To accompany the (video) call, Klarna sent an English-language email to each employee concerned with details of the termination. It explains how to proceed and – very importantly – the severance payment modalities are presented.

That’s how much Klarna pays the dismissed

Accordingly, the dismissed employees no longer have to work for Klarna with immediate effect. However, they should be available if Klarna needs information for business operations. Depending on how long you have been with the company, your salary will continue to be paid for between one and three months. On the last day of the current employment contract, the employees should then come back to the company and return their IT equipment etc.

After that, those affected leave, but receive a severance payment. Depending on how long you have been with the company, the amount varies between two weeks’ salary and more than six months’ salary. An example: Anyone who has worked for Klarna for three or four years receives their salary for a further three months and then a severance payment that corresponds to their salary for five months.

Caution: blocking at the employment office

However, Klarna’s approach can pose a problem for those affected. Because the dismissed must sign a termination agreement / severance agreement (“settlement agreement”). However, this means that they will not receive unemployment benefits from the Federal Employment Agency for a few months, but will be blocked from receiving them. If those affected do not find a new job immediately, this can mean that they have to survive a few months without an income.

In this case, those affected should set aside money from continued salary payments and severance pay!

In any case, those affected should consult an employment law attorney immediately. Only such an expert can assess whether signing the termination agreement and accepting the severance payment is the best solution. In addition, those affected should report immediately to the employment office.

According to our sources, Klarna will send the termination agreement to the terminated employees in a few days. The employees then have ten calendar days to think about it.

According to our information, there is no works council at Klarna that could help the dismissed employees. Obviously, the establishment of a works council does not fit the startup mentality that Klarna claims for itself.

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