Layoff Watch ’20: PwC to Sever Ties with 5% of Its Workforce In Australia

Some bad news coming out of Australia today, especially if you work in HR, recruitment, or in the consulting and financial advisory practices at PwC.

The Australian Financial Review reported:

PwC will cut 400 roles in its consulting and financial advisory business, as well as its support function, after the COVID-19 pandemic cut demand for the big four firm’s services.

Staff were told about the cuts, which work out to about 5 per cent of PwC’s 8000-strong workforce, at a firm-wide meeting held on Wednesday afternoon.

The move will involve partner retirements and staff redundancies but the firm did not specify the breakdown between the groups.

The layoffs are expected to be completed by the end of July, according to AFR.

Here we have another example of a Big 4 firm outside of the U.S. that reduced the hours employees worked during the week by at least 20%, with a corresponding cut in pay, to cut costs and prevent job losses … that still happened anyway.

Back in April, when PwC Australia rolled out its “reduced working week program,” CEO Tom Seymour preached to PwCers that this would be the way “to protect jobs and not make people redundant as a result of COVID-19.” Well, that and cutting the hours and pay of underutilized staffers by up to 40% and cutting partner pay.

Folks at Deloitte in Canada heard the same message, as they were strongly encouraged to voluntarily reduce their work hours and take a corresponding cut in pay so the firm wouldn’t have to kick any Green Dots to the curb. Reportedly thousands of Deloitters did enroll in the voluntary work hour reduction arrangement. And Deloitte still ended up laying off between 300 and 400 people across its Canadian workforce, even those who voluntarily cut their hours and pay by 20%, 35%, or more.

Hopefully PwC and Grant Thornton employees in Canada won’t suffer the same fate.

PwC to cut 400 roles in consulting, financial advisory, support [Australian Financial Review]

Related articles:

PwC Australia Staffers Looking at Pay Cuts of Up to 40%
Layoff Watch ’20: What In the World Is Happening at Deloitte Canada?

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