October 20, 2020

Deloitte U.K. CEO Says Employee Has Coronavirus

In an email to staff on March 3, Deloitte U.K. CEO Richard Houston said one of the firm’s London employees who recently vacationed in Asia has been hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus, the Financial Times reported.

Deloitte said it was “deep cleaning” one floor of its offices in London but hadn’t quarantined its New Street Square office.

The firm said staff could return to work or they could work from home, according to FT:

Mr Houston said: “We’ve just received confirmation that a colleague . . . has tested positive for Covid-19. Following the diagnosis they are now in hospital and receiving good care.” He added that the news was “unsettling” but reassured staff that Deloitte was working with Public Health England on its response.

Fortune reported last week that in an internal email, EY told all employees to skip “not-client-critical” external events of more than 100 people, and the firm is requiring employees to request to attend “client-critical events” of over 100 attendees.

To boot, the company, which employs 284,000 people globally, is requesting employees cancel or postpone (until April) any internal meetings of more than 25 people (from different offices), instead requesting employees conduct meetings via video or other remote meeting channels. Ernst & Young told Fortune that while these details stand as guidelines, the company is asking employees to check with their risk managers regarding particular meetings or events of larger size.

In addition to new meeting and event protocols, EY expanded its travel ban on outward and inward travel until April 1 to or from South Korea, Japan, and areas in Northern Italy. According to the email, employees who have traveled in the aforementioned areas (plus China, Hong Kong, and Macau indefinitely) are being instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, at least until April 1. Ernst & Young told Fortune in a statement that “The safety and wellbeing of all EY people, clients and communities remains our primary concern,” and that EY is “monitoring this situation closely and will be updating guidance as developments warrant” in accordance with local government and WHO guidelines.

Also, a Redditor posted on r/accounting today that EY has canceled all firm-wide recruiting events as a precautionary measure.

Deloitte employee in London tests positive for coronavirus [Financial Times]
Coronavirus crackdown: How companies like Ernst & Young are going to extremes to avoid infections [Fortune]

Related article:

Grant Thornton Economist Says Coronavirus Is an ‘Economic Pandemic’

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