PwC’s newly appointed chief executive, Tom Seymour, briefed staff on Wednesday on the incoming redundancies, set to impact approximately 5 per cent of the firm’s 8,000-strong workforce.
Both partners and staff will be impacted by the move, with 400 roles in its consulting and financial advisory businesses, as well as support functions, set to be cut.
The restructure is set to take place over the next six weeks and will conclude by 31 July.
Mr Seymour said the move comes after the firm experienced a drop in revenue over the past three months and expected “significant volatility to continue for at least the next 12 months”.
“We want to ensure our business is strong, is set to grow successfully and sustainably and is focused on our clients and their needs,” Mr Seymour said.
“Equally, these are difficult decisions and we are saddened that making structural changes in some of our businesses will cause some difficult impacts.
“We do not underestimate the impact this has on our people and we will work through this process as thoroughly and quickly as possible to bring our people certainty.”
The announcement comes after the big four firm announced a company-wide reduction in working hours and remuneration in early April.
Mr Seymour said the “reduced working week program” would come to an end on 30 June, with all employees being returned to their usual working arrangements from 1 July.
The big four firm will continue to undertake promotions and related pay rises during the new financial year.
PwC’s announcement marks the largest redundancy move across the big four firms as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Rival firm KPMG had announced 200 redundancies and a 20 per cent pay cut across the firm at the start of April.
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Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.