KPMG Australia to cut 200 staff as part of Covid-19 response

07 April 2020 2 min. read
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KPMG Australia has announced a comprehensive set of measures to mitigate the pressures it is facing due to the Covid-19 crisis, including 200 redundancies and pay cuts for all employees and equity partners. The policies were announced by CEO Gary Wingrove in a personal message to the full KPMG Australia team.

The Big Four accounting and advisory firm will let go of 200 of its 9,000 professionals in Australia. The cuts have been made in departments where business has dried up considerably in light of Covid-19 and the resultant economic disruption. Wingrove elaborated on these reasons in his statement.

While some departments have seen a spike in business due to restructuring efforts across Australia’s business environment, Wingrove explained that several clients in other areas have either paused their projects or canceled them altogether, mounting financial pressure on KPMG’s financial sponsors – its partner team.

The job cuts were a last resort, according to Wingrove, who explained that they would be “occurring mostly in areas where demand has dramatically reduced or where we expect a reduction, and where all options for redeployment have been exhausted. We have limited these impacts as much as possible, and I sincerely regret that some of our colleagues will be leaving us.”

KPMG Australia to make staff cuts amid Covid-19 crisis

Wingrove also announced a 20% pay cut for all employees for a period of four months starting May, although these cuts only apply to staff that earns less than $62,000 per year. Partners will instead absorb a much bigger hit, according to Wingrove, in addition to their promotions cycle being deferred.

“Equity partners in the firm have already agreed to forego a partner distribution payment due in mid-April and now, over the four months from May, equity partners will take an effective pay reduction of 36 per cent,” he announced. The goal, said Wingrove, is to ensure an equitable impact across the organisation, while ensuring the firm has enough resources to continue supporting clients in a time of crisis.

KPMGs measures are similar to decisions being taken across the business environment, as financial executives take stock of their individual situation and how it will be impacted going forth. The pay cuts have been accompanied by other measures that will make the next few months a little smoother for employees.

For instance, provisions have been made for reduced working hours if required, in recognition of the fact that many employees might be faced with a number of different adjustments and responsibilities under new working and living conditions. Other provisions have been made for special leave if required.