Tántaiste Leo Varadkar has spoken of the “real shock" to staff working at Paypal's offices in Dundalk and Blanchardstown after they were informed of 307 job losses today.
It is understood that some work is being relocated, possibly to Asia, while other positions are being axed.
Staff were told this morning of the changes and the company insists there is no particular “economic condition” that prompted the cuts.
PayPal has clarified it would not be offering voluntary redundancies in relation to the proposal, which follows a review of its operational needs and was, the company said, “subject to consultation".
It added: "The changes will help us scale our business to meet the evolving needs of our customers, ready for our next chapter of growth.”
Mr Varadkar, who is Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Minister, said: “This news will come as a real shock to the staff working at Paypal’s Dundalk and Blanchardstown offices, their families and communities.
"I have spoken with the Paypal leadership team and expressed my disappointment at the decision and the impact it will have on their employees. The company has assured me that Paypal remains committed to Ireland and the remaining 2,000 staff the company will continue to employ here.
"Consultation with staff will begin this Thursday and I understand all 307 redundancies will be initially sought on a voluntary basis and a good redundancy package will be made available.”
A spokesperson for Paypal said: “We are looking at how do we make changes that may be necessary to shape the business for the future for our next wave of growth, so making sure we have got the scale, we can scale to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”
“There is no one single aspect I can point to. It is not a particular response to an economic condition. We are looking at the business as a whole,” he added.
Staff in Dundalk and Dublin were informed this morning, some during a Microsoft Teams call. While 172 of the roles affected are in Dundalk, the remaining 135 are in Dublin.
The company said: “We are proposing to remove a selection of roles in Dundalk and Dublin subject to consultation with employees and we notified employees in the affected teams of the consultation earlier today.”
The spokesperson said: “We are just going to start the consultation process with our employees. It would not really be right for me to go into details of what the changes might be in detail.”
However, he added: "We remain committed to Dundalk and Dublin and Ireland as a whole. This does not change our absolute commitment to Ireland and Dundalk and Dublin.
"We are committed to ensure that anyone who leaves under the proposed changes is treated fairly and generously. That is a really important thing for us.”
Paypal opened its European operations in Ireland with just a handful of employees in 2003 and has since grown into a global tech giant.
After the job cuts, there will still be more than 2,000 people working for the company in Ireland spread between both locations.
A number of local TDs said they had been in contact with Jan Egar, the PayPal head of government relations for the UK and Ireland.
In a joint statement, the two Sinn Fein TDs in Louth, Imelda Munster and Ruairí Ó Murchú said they were “deeply concerned” about the future commitment of PayPal to the county after 172 job losses in Dundalk.
Deputy Ó Murchú said: “The Government, and the agencies such as IDA, need to step up and meet with PayPal to find out what has really happened here and to give workers and their families the reassurance that the company is committed to Ireland in the long term. We have requested a meeting with senior PayPal officials as soon as possible to hear from them what their future plans are for their sites in Ireland.”
Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick said: “This is very disappointing for Dundalk and staff who have shown great commitment and loyalty to PayPal. I am awaiting more information and I will do my best to reverse this decision and make sure that workers are treated fairly.”
Labour’s spokesperson on Finance and Public Expenditure, Ged Nash, also a TD in Louth, said: “Under the law on collective redundancies, their plans should be treated as a proposal and not a final decision as the consultation process with staff has yet to get under way.
"That formal engagement with staff will commence this week and I requested that staff are provided with full disclosure in terms of how and why the proposal for 307 redundancies has been made and that alternative cost-saving measures must be discussed with staff before the trigger is pulled on redundancies.
“If redundancies are to proceed, this will be a major blow for Dundalk especially. Pay Pal has staff from all across Louth and the wider region. Coming hot on the heels of 100 redundancies at National Pen in the town, IDA need to be clear on what their investment and job replacement strategy is for the county.”
Fellow Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd said he was “deeply concerned".
The Fine Gael TD added: “I have been in contact with my colleague An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar and his office to ensure that all available government supports will be made available to assist individuals and families affected by PayPal’s decision.
“The Tánaiste has informed me that the consultation period will begin this week and that no redundancies will take effect until June.
“This will be a very difficult time for the employees and I will support them in anyway I can going forward,” he added.
In a statement, Mr Varadkar added: “I’m very conscious of the workers and their families receiving this news today. I know this is coming on top of what has been a very difficult couple of years for everyone and will be very worrying.
"Our goal is to create a job for everyone that wants one. Secure, well-paid, sustainable jobs located in every county in the country. We are working hard to reach this goal and have set ourselves the target of 2.5 million people at work by 2024, which would be the highest level of employment in the State.
"The Government will make all necessary State assistance available to the workers, to help them find new employment, education and training opportunities as soon as possible."