By Irina Anghel and Jamie Nimmo, Bloomberg News (TNS)
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is to slash as many as 600 jobs in the U.K. in response to a fall in the number of staff leaving the accounting giant to work elsewhere.
The firm, which has 25,000 U.K. staff, is set to launch a voluntary redundancy program for between 500 and 600 employees, according to a person familiar with the plans. It will move to cut jobs if not enough workers opt for voluntary redundancy. The bulk of the cuts will be aimed at the advisory division, the person said.
PwC is the latest of the Big Four to announce plans to trim its workforce. Staff at the large auditors are opting to stay put rather than move jobs due to a slowdown in dealmaking and concerns about the economy.
The percentage of staff handing in their notice each year, known as the attrition rate, has fallen to about 10% at PwC, said the person with knowledge of the plans, which were first reported by the Financial Times.
Fewer people will end up leaving the firm as a result of the redundancy program compared with the normal level of departures, they added. Staff at all levels will be affected, but there will be a greater number of junior cuts because there are more staff at that level.
“You need to be a profitable business to play your part in society, whether funding apprenticeships or programs in schools,” PwC U.K. chair Kevin Ellis told the FT when asked about the planned redundancies.
Partners at PwC U.K. saw their pay drop below £1 million ($1.2 million) for the latest financial year after a fall in profit.
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