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Better.com Offering Severance To Some U.S. Employees

David Krechevsky
Apr 07, 2022
Better.com

Online mortgage broker's voluntary severance offer follows two rounds of mass layoffs.

Two rounds of layoffs weren’t enough for Better.com.

Following mass layoffs in December 2021 and last month that, combined, eliminated nearly 4,000 jobs, the online mortgage lender is offering some of its remaining employees in the United States the option of taking a voluntary severance package, according to an email sent to employees Wednesday afternoon that was obtained by National Mortgage Professional.

The email is signed by Richard Benson-Armer, Better.com's chief people, performance and culture officer.

According to the email, Better.com is offering the voluntary severance package only to corporate, product, design and engineering employees in the United States. The package includes 60 days of severance pay and health insurance coverage, the email states.

The company has approximately 5,000 employees remaining worldwide, but it is not clear how many work in the U.S. and Better.com did not say how many voluntary cuts it is seeking.

“Employees who are under 40 years old will have up to seven days from receipt of the agreement to accept the offer,” the email states. “The last day at Better for those who accept the offer will be Friday, April 15th. They will also receive their final payment on this date. “

It continues, “Employees who are 40 years old and above will have up to 21 days to accept the offer. Those who sign the separation agreement on a Wednesday or earlier will have a last day at Better on Friday of that week, with final payment on that date. Those who sign the agreement on a Thursday or Friday will have a last day at Better on Friday of the following week, with final payment on that date.”

Better.com did not reply to a request for comment about the email. However, in Wednesday’s email, the company provides a reason for the severance offer. 

“As many of you know, uncertain mortgage market conditions of the last couple of weeks have created an exceedingly challenging operating environment for many companies in our industry,” the email states. “This is requiring many of them to make difficult decisions in order to sustain their businesses. Despite ongoing efforts to streamline our operations and ensure a strong path forward for the company, Better is no exception.”

After outlining the severance package details, the email states that while the “voluntary separation exercise is difficult, we remain confident in the strong path ahead for Better. Given the headwinds facing our industry, collaboration and innovation – the hallmarks on which Better built its success – will be more essential than ever.”

It adds that, “Better has a tremendous future ahead, built on the ethos that made us so successful in the first place. That includes a culture that rewards high performance and excellent customer service. I look forward to sharing more information on that in the weeks ahead.”

The severance offer follows two controversial rounds of mass layoffs conducted by the company in the past four months. 

In December, Better.com laid off 900 employees — with the announcement of layoffs coming from CEO Vishal Garg during a Zoom meeting. Garg subsequently took time off from the company before returning in January.

That was followed by another mishandled layoff in March. The company laid off about 3,000 people, but some employees found out about the job cuts when they discovered a severance check in their corporate payroll app before the official announcement was made.

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Apr 07, 2022
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