KPMG staff back four-day week in bid to save jobs

Staff at ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm KPMG have overwhelmingly backed a new flexible working scheme to safeguard their jobs.

More than 80% of the firm’s 11,000 UK staff expressed interest in switching to a four-day working week, or a sabbatical of between one and three months on 30% pay, as part of efforts to cut costs and avoid redundancies.

Tim Payne, head of people at KPMG UK, said the firm would now look into what job roles would be eligible to move on to the scheme’s options.

“We take great pride in our employment practices, and this sort of scheme can work because of the level of trust that exists in the workplace culture,” he told Personnel Today. “Our people appreciate we’re trying to do something different that benefits both individual and firm, and even some of our clients have called up to ask about how we’re implementing it.”

Payne added that successful implementation of the scheme would help drive employee engagement as well as save jobs.

The other Big Four auditors ruled out copying KPMG’s approach, but both Ernst & Young and Deloitte said they were committed to offering flexible working options to staff.

Several car manufacturers have recently moved employees onto shorter working weeks and offered sabbaticalsin a bid to avoid making redundancies.

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