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Layoff Watch ’20: Deloitte’s Purging Continues, This Time In Australia

Deloitte, which couldn’t help patting itself on the back last week for forecasting a record-breaking $48 billion in global revenue for FY 2020, has just sent hundreds of more employees to the chopping block.

First, the firm sent between 300 and 400 Canadian employees packing in May, then more than 5,000 U.S. employees have received pink slips this month, and now 700 Green Dotters are getting axed in Australia.

The Australian Financial Review reported on Monday:

Deloitte will cut seven per cent of its workforce, or at least 700 professionals, as the COVID-19 downturn hits demand for the big four firm’s consulting services.

The firm’s 10,000-strong staff were told about the cuts at a 2pm firm-wide meeting, after an earlier briefing held for Deloitte’s 900-odd partners.

The redundancies follow the firm cutting all discretionary expenditure earlier in the year, including asking staff to take a pay cut of 20 per cent for five months from May through to September, as part of a range of measures designed to preserve jobs amid the pandemic.

A number of Deloitte partners are also leaving, or have left, the firm early, but no details were provided. It’s not clear if the cuts include the partners or just refer to staff.

Back in April, AFR wrote about how the firm’s overall utilization rate dropped from about 71% in the last week of March to about 66% in the first two weeks of April, against a planned rate of 72%. This could have been a warning sign that layoffs weren’t too far off.

In addition, consulting had a utilization rate of around 68% in the first two weeks of April, from 72% in March. And utilization had fallen to as low as 61% across Deloitte Australia’s financial services, risk advisory, and tax divisions, AFR reported. The only practice that was holding up its end of the bargain was audit and assurance, which had a utilization rate of 78% at that time.

I don’t know what else to say. So far in Australia, Deloitte is getting rid of 700 people, PwC is letting go of about 400, and KPMG already cut about 200 employees loose in early April. It just sucks that so many people have lost their jobs during this pandemic.

Hopefully EY Australia doesn’t follow suit and resort to mass layoffs once its 2020 financial year ends on June 30. But hey, at least EY partners are still raking it in.

Deloitte to cut at least 700 roles across the firm [Australian Financial Review]

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