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Big 4 Australia update

Source: John Kehoe , Australian Financial Review, 8 July 2009

In another sign of the economic downturn hurting the professional service sector, accounting firm KPMG is cutting the working hours of staff by 20 per cent and informing staff that they may be required to take up to 12 weeks' leave. The firm informed staff of the plans in an email yesterday, KPMG managing partner for people James Allt-Graham saying that under the 'voluntary program' designed to stave off a third round of redundancies, the first two seeing cuts of 101 and 99 staff, that KPMG may ask staff to reduce their work schedule by one day per week. A second option is 'part-paid leave', with the firm also encouraging employees to use their spare time for further study or volunteering in the not-for-profit sector. More than 75 per cent of employees have agreed to participate in the 'temporary work arrangement' agreement.

Rival firm Ernst & Young is understood to have laid off over 100 accountants, while PricewaterhouseCoopers axed 170 employees this year and revealed that 90 per cent of its full-time staff had agreed to take two to three weeks of unpaid leave during the next six months. Deloitte said it was looking at cutting costs rather than staff. Law firms have also been shedding employees this year, Blake Dawson chopping 89 jobs, DLA Phillips Fox 66 jobs, Corrs Chambers Westgarth letting 47 go and Minter Ellison losing 35 employees.


tyler said…
this is nuts, they need to stop the lay offs and just take a pay cut. This really scares me since i am interning right now for GT and that one day soon after college i may get layed off as well and have a tough time finding a new job
Anonymous said…
I've heard that some firms in NZ have had to rescind some of their graduate offers.
When I had my internship the partner for our team told us that they didn't want to make the same mistake as in the last recession, where they ended up with a shortage of qualified accountants because they layed off younger grads.
Will have to see what its like when I start as a grad next year though.
Chelle said…
I had been out of work too after working for the same thankless company for years. I looked in a lot of different career websites for auditor jobs and never seemed to find what I was looking for. A friend told me about They had so many listings and I found a job that was right for me and now I don't have to worry about taking another pay cut. I hate looking for a job, the site really helped me.

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