KPMG gives staff a wage bonus (4% of annual salary)

03 May 2021 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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The latest 4 percent wage bonus for KPMG staff surpasses the severe pay cuts made last year, and is a token of appreciation for the challenging period KPMG’ers have gone through.

KPMG staff in Australia have been given a special 4 percent Covid wage bonus, with post-recovery repayments and bonuses now exceeding the 20 percent pay-cuts implemented in the early phase of the pandemic. Controversial in that there was no commensurate reduction in hours, KPMG staff in April accepted the proposed four-month 20 percent pay-cut (equating to a 6.7 per cent annual reduction) as a measure to safeguard jobs, with 200 having already been slashed the month prior.

Since then, the professional services firm has made a series of repayments on the back of a stronger than expected rebound, with the latest one-off bonus set to benefit employees who have remained with the firm since the start of the pandemic. KPMG’s rivals have also been repaying lost wages and issuing ‘thank you’ bonuses both locally and abroad, including the Australian branch of Deloitte and for all of Accenture’s lower level global headcount.

KPMG gives staff a wage bonus (4% of annual salary)

“All of you have contributed to this [payment]. It is a recognition and thank you for your contribution working with us through the challenges of FY21,” KPMG’s outgoing CEO Gary Wingrove told staff. “While we have relatively modest revenue growth year on year given Covid impacts, our momentum and pipeline are continuing to build well. It is very pleasing to be able to look forward with a bit more predictability than has been possible recently.”

The repayments from the Big Four and other large multinational advisories have been widely seen as employee retention measures and an effort to rebuild loyalty amid a current staffing crisis, exacerbated by ongoing border closures and a lack of international personnel. The Big Four together with Accenture have no less than 2,000 active job openings on LinkedIn, after collectively shedding over 1,500 jobs at the height of the economic disruption last year.

Now, staff shortages in the auditing sector are dire enough that the The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has issued a one-month extension for companies to file their financial reports, with the Australian Financial Review reporting that mid-level auditors moving between the Big Four are in the frame for 30 percent pay increases for performing the same role. Meanwhile, firms are doing the best to retain and attract staff with a range of incentives.

EY’s Oceania recruitment director Ali McLeod told the AFR that the professional services firm had expedited its usual promotions cycle and salary review process in recognition of its staff’s efforts throughout the coronavirus crisis, with the usual October assessment date brought forward to July.

“All our people who are receiving salary bumps will get them three months early this year,” she said. “This is to reward and recognise the great work and results our people have achieved.”