Layoff Watch ’20: Apparently Some Grant Thornton Canada Employees Had to Give Up Their Purple Roses

We got word recently that the Purple Rose of Chicago Toronto has shown some people the door at a few offices in Grant Thornton’s Southern Ontario Business Unit.

Here’s what a source told us:

1. Layoffs occurred on March 30th and April 14th. Appears select few senior leaders in GT are short term layoff decisions before a new pay period (bi-monthly) starts. Around 15 assurance staff from staff level to manager were terminated permanently.

Also, dozens of tax people including managers apparently. I don’t have an accurate number of tax staff laid off but it seems to be more than audit and also it had more of an impact on managers and seniors as well. The general impression I’m getting from different people is that personal tax and some corporate tax staff are hit hardest due to COVID-19 and delayed deadline imposed by government.

2. Effective Thursday, April 16th, GT put staff into three categories:

  • I) Group A – 100% pay and 100% hours.
  • II) Group B – 50% pay and 50% hours.
  • III) Group C – 0% (in other words, temporarily laid off).

My knowledge from staff are that B is reserved for most tax people and underutilized or underperforming people in audit from staff level to senior manager. Lastly, Group C is for most administrative individuals and underperforming juniors.

According to our source, the offices within GT’s SOBU that were most affected by the job cuts were Toronto, Markham, and Mississauga.

Our source, who was one of those let go from Grant Thornton, said there were no rumors about layoffs as “everyone was unsure how the firm would respond” during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 was the reason given as to why this person was laid off. From what we were told, others who were also let go were given the same explanation.

The source told us that they believe (not confirmed) only a select few partners knew about the layoffs before they went down:

I do know that myself and others can say that our managers were told [about the layoffs] after the fact. Some managers confirmed to me there was no performance related meeting (which occurred last year in May 2019 before about 7-8 people were let go due to poor firm performance in July 2019) of that sort preceding these layoffs so they had no idea this was coming.

Was anyone else from Grant Thornton’s SOBU caught up in the layoffs? Do you have knowledge of coronavirus-related layoffs in any of GT’s other offices throughout Canada? If you do, hit us up by email or text using the contact info below.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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