A dispute over worker bonuses initially led to a job action — and now a court case in Poland — claiming that the U.K.-based FinTech Revolut dismissed an employee who spoke up over the issue, the Financial Times reported. The new legal case is the second time this year that Revolut has been accused of forcing employees to “voluntarily” leave.
Revolut focuses on digital banking and building what it terms a global financial super app. The company offers open banking, which allows third-party developers to build applications that track a customer’s financial data.
The fast-growing Revolut is valued at $5.5 billion as of a funding round last February. The five-year-old company has rapidly expanded into more than 30 countries, with customers who speak a range of languages.
At the heart of the Revolut court case are the promises the company made to pay bonuses to some employees because they are multilingual. Revolut said these bonuses have been limited to certain language skills and particular employees — staff in dedicated teams who provide in-app customer support.
Per the report, several former employees in Revolut’s Krakow, Poland office said the company promised monthly bonuses to multilingual workers. However, the ex-employees said that the company regularly failed to live up to its promises. This prompted some workers to launch an informal “language strike,” which included refusing to translate documents such as tax records. The job action caused a backlog of work.
According to FT, records show that in 2019, the company looked to hire compliance analysts with “flawless” skills in at least 11 languages.
One worker said she complained about the lack of language bonuses in messages to London-based executives. Soon after, she claims that Revolut told her she had to choose, on short notice, between leaving the company by “mutual agreement” or being fired on disciplinary grounds. Her case had been set for a Krakow court hearing earlier this year, but this was derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.