EY and Deloitte are scrutinizing staff workloads and quietly letting some workers go, report says

Advertisement
EY and Deloitte are scrutinizing staff workloads and quietly letting some workers go, report says
Big Four firms have cut hundreds of jobs in the past year. Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
  • Big Four firms are looking at employee workloads and time spent with clients, a report says.
  • The Times reported that employees with limited client work were at risk of losing their jobs.
Advertisement

The Big Four have been shedding staff to cut costs in recent months. Now they’re scrutinizing employee workloads and letting go of "underemployed" staff, The Times of London has reported.

Sources told The Times that EY and Deloitte were among the firms amping up inspections of workloads, especially time spent with clients.

These performance-related firings were separate from company layoffs, they said, and would mostly impact the consultancy arms of these companies.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

The Times reported that the two firms had been measuring employee “utilization rates," looking at time sheets and work schedules to see how much time staff members had spent working with clients.

The report said employees working with clients were considered “utilized,” while those who weren’t working with clients and instead worked on internal programs were considered “on the bench."

Advertisement

The sources said utilization rates could also show which employees weren’t putting themselves forward for big money-making engagements.

EY told Business Insider in a statement that it had "well-established performance management processes" that looked at a variety of metrics.

“While utilisation can be an indicator of an individual's wider performance, it is never considered in isolation,” it said in the statement.

A spokesperson for Deloitte told BI that its performance reviews are not aimed at reducing headcount.

"We actively invest in and manage our talent, including reviewing performance on a regular basis. As a result, a small number of individuals may leave, but the majority of our people go through performance improvement plans successfully," they said.

Advertisement

The Big Four firms, which include EY, Deloitte, PWC, and KPMG, have cut hundreds of jobs in the past year amid a challenging economic climate.

Deloitte announced plans in September to cut 800 jobs and a further 100 in February across its UK consulting, financial advisory, and risk advisory business.

Meanwhile, EY cut at least 300 roles in the UK in 2023 across several areas of its business, including its advisory business.

Analysts have said these cuts and harsher performance metrics are partly due to the firms overhiring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and low levels of attrition in recent years, which means many employees have stayed put because of fewer opportunities in the job market.

Additionally, slowing client demand means there isn’t enough work to go around for all employees.

Advertisement

The consulting firm McKinsey is also facing the consequences of its pandemic hiring spree.

It recently gave 3,000 staff poor performance reviews, internally known as "concerns," Bloomberg reported.

Most employees receiving these ratings were being told they had about three months to turn it around or be "counseled to leave" the company, Bloomberg reported.

{{}}