Grant Thornton has asked its UK employees to volunteer a 40 per cent reduction in their pay to avoid redundancies.
The challenger audit firm has asked its 4500 employees in the UK to take a cut to avoid the need for an alternative package that would involve unpaid leave and layoffs, according to Sky News.
Grant Thornton was yesterday appointed as administrator to the rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse, but the move underlines how even the resilient professional services sector is not immune to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Law and accountancy firms are weighing up delaying partner profit distributions to preserve cash to ride out the coronavirus-induced economic crash.
A spokesperson for Grant Thornton UK said: “The coronavirus pandemic means all businesses, including our firm, are operating in unprecedented and uncertain times. We know that this is a difficult time for many of our people, particularly those who have caring responsibilities.”
“Therefore, today, we have offered all our employees the opportunity to volunteer for a temporary reduction in their contractual hours or a short-term sabbatical. These are clearly exceptional times and these voluntary measures help us to support our people while also continuing to support our clients.”
The challenger firm has faced a difficult period in its UK business. In December the accountancy firm was hit by a £650,000 fine for failures in the auditing of a publicly listed company.