Twitter staff who face losing their jobs in the UK have been given three days to nominate a representative for a formal consultation about their employment.
An email sent to staff from Twitter’s HR department on Saturday said they had until 9am on Tuesday to nominate any current employee. Staff can nominate themselves.
The social media company began widespread staff cuts around the world on Friday, with suggestions that as many as half of its more than 7,500 staff could be axed.
Workers in the UK have been told the company plans to inform and consult employee representatives before potential redundancies, as required by employment law.
The news comes after Elon Musk, the company’s new owner, said he had “no choice” but to cut 50% of Twitter’s staff.
Musk said the firm he bought for $44bn (£39bn) at the end of October is currently losing around $4m (£3.5m) a day.
The first Twitter layoffs were announced one day after Musk bought the company, with the former CEO Parag Agrawal among those who received their notice.
Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey issued an apology on Saturday afternoon, tweeting: “I am grateful for, and love, everyone who has ever worked on Twitter. I don’t expect that to be mutual in this moment … or ever … and I understand.
“Folks at Twitter past and present are strong and resilient. They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment. I realize many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that.”
The workers’ union Prospect said it now has “dozens” of Twitter UK staff members on its books after the announcement.
If more than 100 people in the UK are affected by a firm’s job cuts then there must be a 45-day consultation before any redundancies can be made, it added.
“Members are telling us heartbreaking stories, including fears over how they will be treated on maternity leave, whether their IVF treatment can continue under Twitter’s path to parenthood policy or over how this will affect their visa status,” the union said.
The BBC reported that a senior official said she felt three days was a very short amount of time for people to organise themselves or communicate with each other, especially given that many have lost access to company-wide work platforms such as the messaging service Slack and their Twitter email accounts.
Seven days was considered a “reasonable” period of time for this to take place, she said, although there is no official rule.
Musk first announced he wanted to buy Twitter for $44bn in April, but it took six months for a deal to be struck.
In July, the tech billionaire said he had pulled out of the sale because he had not been given enough information on how many real, active Twitter users there were. Twitter responded by taking Musk to court so that he would honour the sale.
The court case was then stalled when, in a dramatic U-turn, Musk announced he would proceed with the buyout last month.
There is uncertainty over Musk’s plans for the platform’s future. Online safety groups and campaigners have expressed concerns about his plans to relax content moderation and reverse permanent Twitter bans given to controversial figures, including former US president Donald Trump.
Musk’s suggestion that verified Twitter users should pay $8 a month for their blue ticks has also prompted criticism.