Wednesday 17 June 2020 1:37 pm

EY's UK offices to close for one day to force staff to take holiday

EY is set to shut most of its offices for a day this summer to encourage staff to use up their annual leave, as employees remain reluctant to take holiday during lockdown.

The accountancy firm told its employees about the scheduled day off in a memo this week, first reported by Financial News.

Read more: PwC to reopen UK offices from 8 June following coronavirus lockdown easing

It came after a wave of employees resisted taking time off due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic.

EY has since asked its UK employees and partners to spread annual holiday allowance across the year by taking 70 per cent of their entitlement by 31 August.

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In a statement the firm said: “This is intended to protect individual wellbeing while also enabling us to ensure that we continue serve clients and run our business effectively throughout the year.”

As part of these measures, the Big Four firm has decided to close some part of its UK base on 3 July “enabling people in several of our businesses to take one day’s holiday that day.”

“The safety and wellbeing of all EY people, clients and communities continues to be our primary concern, while also carefully managing the needs of our business.”

Read more: Law and accountancy firm coronavirus partner promotions: a poisoned chalice?

EY’s announcement follows recommendations to encourage employees to take holiday during the coronavirus outbreak, to help protect their physical and mental wellbeing.

The government passed legislation to allow employees to carry forward the four weeks of statutory holiday under the Working Time Directive. However, this is only if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to take all or part of the leave due to the pandemic.

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