About 150 executive assistant roles are to be lost at consulting giant Deloitte as the company prepares to adopt a hybrid working model.
The figure amounts to more than a quarter of Deloitte’s UK assistants being made redundant, with about 560 employees being told their jobs are at risk.
It is thought that new online systems had made it possible for more employees to carry out many aspects of the executive assistant role themselves.
A source told the Sunday Telegraph at the weekend that the restructuring reflected the fact the firm had made “significant improvements to enable more self-service options” for its staff. They can now use online systems to lodge their own requests with IT or HR, or to book meeting rooms or travel.
Remaining executive assistants have been informed that their responsibilities would now change as administrative tasks had fallen in number, and in many aspects their roles would be enhanced. A consultation process with affected staff is under way.
Last month Deloitte told its 20,000 staff in the UK that they could work from home permanently. Unlike other members of the “big four”, PwC, KPMG and EY, Deloitte has not stipulated a specific number of days for employees to attend its offices.
A spokesman for Deloitte said: “We are consulting on proposed changes to executive assistant roles at Deloitte, which, unfortunately, could lead to some redundancies. We are supporting our people during this process.”
Deloitte’s chief executive, Richard Houston, last month said: “Once the government has lifted all of the Covid-19 restrictions and we’re back up to full office capacity, we will let our people choose where they need to be to do their best work, in balance with their professional and personal responsibilities. I’m not going to announce any set number of days for people to be in the office or in specific locations. That means that our people can choose how often they come to the office, if they choose to do so at all, while focusing on how we can best serve our clients.”