KPMG offers staff a four-day week

KPMG has offered UK staff the option of working a four-day working week or
sabbaticals in a move by the Big Four firm to avoid jobs cuts amid the economic

The accounting firm’s 11,000 UK staff, including partners, can also apply for
between four and 12 weeks of partially paid leave.

KPMG said its proposals were a contingency plan, and that staff were not
being forced to accept the working options.

However, KPMG expects the majority of its employees to apply for the scheme
by a deadline of February 6. KPMG will decide which staff can take part in the
scheme based on economic conditions and the employee position within the firm.

‘If the economy gets worse this is an option that we can quickly move to
rather than a knee jerk reaction when you fire a load of people,’ a KPMG
spokesman said.

The move by KPMG, thought to be the first of its kind by a big accounting
firm, is the latest sign of the economic crisis on the profession.

Firms including Deloitte, Grant Thornton and PKF have recently announced
plans to cut hundreds of jobs in expectation of slower revenue growth this year.

A wave of redundancies in financial services has cut the amount of advisory
work for accounting firms. Merger and acquisition activity has also slowed
dramatically, reducing another key source of income for the big firms.

Related reading