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Just Think, An EY UK Partner Was Allowed to Keep His Job After (Allegedly) Telling a Female Co-Worker This (UPDATE)

[UPDATE] Neil Hutt quit or was forced to resign or whatever. Point is, he no longer works at EY in the UK.

From the The Times of London on Nov. 13:

EY, the Big Four accountancy group, has accepted the resignation of one of its partners, who told a female trainee “I’m going to f*** you” over lunch on an annual company ski trip.

Neil Hutt, 51, initially kept his job despite a tribunal ruling that he had behaved in an “obscene and aggressive” way. After the backlash to reports this week, Hutt offered his resignation yesterday, which EY accepted.


If it wasn’t for that backlash, Hutt would still be employed by EY today, which is a pretty bad look for a firm that thought his comments to the female trainee were not a fireable offense.

The Daily Mail reported that in an email to staff, EY UK Chair Hywell Ball said he was upset that employees’ trust in the firm “had been damaged.” You think?

He insisted that the leadership team is committed, to creating a workplace where ‘everyone feels safe and belongs’ but admitted this incident showed they still have ‘a long way to go’.

Yeah. You do.

EY accountant Neil Hutt quits over ski trip remark [The Times]
Partner, 51, at accountancy firm Ernst and Young resigns after being caught out telling female trainee ‘I am going to f*** you’ on company ski trip [Daily Mail]

[Originally posted on Nov. 9]

You can file this under “Slimy Big 4 Partners.”

The Times in London reported earlier today:

An EY accountant who told a female trainee that he would be “bashing [her] from behind” on a company skiing trip kept his job despite a tribunal ruling that he had behaved in an “obscene and aggressive” way, including telling her at lunch “I’m going to f*** you”.

Neil Hutt, 51, a partner at the company, left the woman “shocked and disappointed” on the annual ski trip in 2019. After telling an internal investigation that he had “taken a joke too far” he was fined £75,000 [by EY] and agreed to attend diversity training.

Let’s see what this jokester allegedly said during the ski trip, according to the Daily Mail:

The [Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales disciplinary] panel was told that during lunch on one of the days of this trip, the trainee was having a conversation with a colleague.

The tribunal heard it was at this point Mr Hutt interrupted and said: ‘What are you doing this afternoon? Because I’m going to f*** you. And then I’m going to f*** [another colleague].’

The tribunal heard the trainee felt ‘shocked and disappointed’ by the remark but tried to hide her emotions.

After the lunch while the group was sitting outside having drinks, the trainee was discussing an incident that had happened earlier in the day when she had been ‘bashed’ into from behind by a snowboarder.

Mr Hutt interrupted her and said: ‘Ha ha, that’s funny because I’ll be bashing you from behind this afternoon.’

Instead of kicking Hutt out of the partnership and shaming him forever, EY and the ICAEW, which found him guilty of misconduct following a hearing in July, ultimately decided to turn their back on the alleged victim and defended the toxicity that oozes in the Big 4 by giving Hutt what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

The Daily Mail reported:

In a judgment published at the end of last week, Rosalind Wright QC, chair of the disciplinary tribunal, said: ‘The misconduct in this case was aggravated by the extreme difference in age and seniority… in circumstances which the behaviour amounted to an abuse of his position and power.

‘The Tribunal considered that the conduct set out in the complaint was both obscene and aggressive.

‘Egregious behaviour of this nature has no place in the profession and the Tribunal seriously considered whether [Mr Hutt’s] conduct was incompatible with him remaining a member of the profession.

‘Had the Tribunal been of the view there was a risk of repetition it would have no option but to exclude him from membership of ICAEW.

‘On balance, however, the Tribunal was satisfied that the public interest could be adequately protected by severely reprimanding [Mr Hutt] and imposing a financial penalty.’

The tribunal fined Mr Hutt £7,000 and ordered him to pay legal costs of £4,895.

So, what Hutt said was an “abuse of his position and power” and “obscene and aggressive” and “egregious,” but nah, we won’t revoke his ICAEW membership because he’ll learn his lesson by paying this fine. And EY wouldn’t fire Hutt because he agreed to take diversity and inclusiveness training. OK then.

Anyway, I think the majority of us can agree that this is an adequate response to EY and the ICAEW in gif form:


EY accountant propositioned worker on ski trip [The Times]
Partner, 51, at accountancy firm Ernst and Young is allowed to keep his job after telling female trainee ‘I am going to f*** you’ while on company ski trip [Daily Mail]

Related article:

Report: Big 4 Firms Are Cesspools For Sexual Harassment, Bullying, and Discrimination

6 thoughts on “Just Think, An EY UK Partner Was Allowed to Keep His Job After (Allegedly) Telling a Female Co-Worker This (UPDATE)

  1. I can tell you first hand all those anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies are non sense at the Big 4. I know of several females who sued Deloitte with another female claiming discrimination with proof. Those partners didn’t even get a slap on the wrist. These firms are partnerships and not publicly accountable so there can’t be a public outcry.

    Beware of Deloitte Toronto Financial Advisory certain groups are worse than others (ie. the ones with very minimal females). There is a reason why. Ask the legal teams at the big D.

    1. Agree especially on retaliation. HR at KPMG US will even set up the retaliation because they love to run their mouths during investigations. Nothing is confidential.

    1. He was not fired. He resigned. This incident occurred in 2019, not until 3 years later did EY nudge him to resign.

  2. The missing piece is that Steve Varley was boss at the time of this incident. He’s now EY Global Vice Chair (what an unfortunate title) and Head of Diversity, so the current leadership are trying really hard to keep this under wraps

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