September 26, 2020

Rumor Mill: PwC Canada Strongly Encouraging Tax Staff to Work Less So They Don’t Have to Fire You

PwC of the Canadian variety is apparently asking forcing its tax staff to volunteer agree to reduce their work hours with a corresponding reduction in pay to avoid layoffs. Hmmm, how did that work out for Deloitte Canada?

Here’s a tip we got over the weekend:

PwC Canada Tax announced this week:

  • All staff can partake in the “voluntary” scheme of working 80% of the time and being paid 80% of their usual salary plus a 4% bonus upon completing this 5 months scheme starting from July 2020.
  • They explicitly stated “we want 100% participation in this scheme” and threatened the “usual layoffs“ if this does not happen. This is clearly not legal.
  • They will not be reducing the amount of work/clients per employee and everyone’s workload will remain the same despite reducing employees’ pay.
  • When asked if people are expected to work on their day off, they explicitly stated that everyone is expected to “do all is necessary to keep their job”.
  • There will be no flexibility on when their day off will be.
  • Partners had sought legal advice to see if they can make 20% pay cuts mandatory for all employees however their lawyer advised against this as it’s not legal.
  • All PwC Canadian Tax partners refuse to confirm if they will be taking a cut despite the PwC CEO stating during a PwC Canada-wide call that they will be the “first line of defense”. This is despite other firms such as PwC UK publicly announcing that the PwC Tax Partners have taken at least a 20% cut.
  • They have consistently made staff work excessive hours (70-100+ hours per week) for several years and there are timesheets, signed overtime approvals etc to prove this. Employees have always been made to go into the office on weekends and work on public holidays.
  • They explicitly stated there will be a “forced distribution grading” and purposely lower everyone’s performance rating so that they can make it easier to blame layoffs due to their rating.
  • Promotions were still going to go ahead despite the current covid situation and potential layoffs taking place, however this is no longer the case after some complaints.
  • The annual anonymous surveys that PwC send to all employees are now redundant so that employees cannot voice their concerns and request changes.

We don’t know whether this work hour reduction arrangement is being offered strongly encouraged to employees in other practice areas.

So if this is really going down, how ya feelin’ about all this, PwC Tax folks? Let us know by sending us a text or email using the contact info below.

Related article:

Layoff Watch ’20: What In the World Is Happening at Deloitte Canada?

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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