A day after PwC Australia cut four percent of its workforce, EY Oceania made some cuts of its own. 232 people to be exact. That works out to more than two percent of its 10,700-person workforce. Reports AFR:
The firm, which was the only big four giant to avoid cutting staff during the COVID-19 pandemic downturn, is also dealing with issues on two other fronts: the fallout of a scathing report into its culture, which found staff felt overworked, bullied and harassed and its own tax scandal involving a former partner.
The announcement means the big four consultants have now all cut staff numbers in Australia; the total reduction adds up to roughly 900 people, or about 2 per cent of their collective workforce of 42,700.
Soon-to-be ex-staff found out today.
The firm had earlier tried to reduce costs through measures such as reducing non-essential travel, cutting back on recruitment, deferring the start date of about 12 per cent of its graduates and forcing staff to take three of their four weeks of leave at Christmas.
EY Oceania chief executive David Larocca was surprised by the sharp downturn in a “challenging and uncertain environment” this financial year, but hoped demand would pick up again by the middle of next year.
AFR spoke to someone inside EY who told them the layoffs were partially driven by leadership’s desire to protect partner profit margins. The insider also mentioned “there had been a big push in parts of the firm to have Australian staff assign work to EY’s offshore service centres as a way of cutting staffing costs and increasing output” but that offshore output sucks and “often needed to be reworked by local staff and the shift had left junior staff in parts of the firm without enough work to do.”
Here’s the down under layoff count since as put into handy chart form by AFR and manually entered into a table maker by us so we feel like we’ve done some work here:
|Firm||2023 layoffs||Headcount||Percentage headcount reduction|
|Total||900 (AFR estimate)||42,700||2.1|
Here in the US we’ve yet to see PwC laying anyone off (as always there are grumblings of pushing people out via aggressive PIP usage), the other three have shed approximately 6,900 people (nice) since KPMG let some advisory people go in February.
- Grant Thornton: 200 (November)
- Baker Tilly: 180 (June)
- RSM: ? At least 20 (June)
- KPMG: 700 (June)
- Grant Thornton: 300 (May)
- Deloitte: 1200 (April)
- EY: 3000 (April)
- BDO USA: 85 (March)
- KPMG: ~2000 (February)
EY cuts 232 jobs as big four job losses widen [AFR]