KMPG partner pay cut by 11% as it sets out hybrid working plan

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KPMG has cut the pay of its UK partners by 11% and is rethinking its office estate as it focuses on protecting jobs and preparing for a future of ‘hybrid working’.

Average pay for its 582 partners fell from £640,000 to £572,000 as the firm grappled with the effects of the pandemic and focused on supporting its workforce, it said in its annual results report for the year ended 30 September 2020.

Bill Michael, senior partner and chair of KPMG in the UK, said: “This has been an extraordinary year. Throughout the pandemic our priority has been to protect the wellbeing of our people and maintain the long-term resilience of our firm. We have achieved that.

“Over the past year, our people have risen to the challenge in the face of adversity to help clients. They have continued to support each other, and our communities when they have needed us most. I am incredibly proud of their efforts.”

The accountancy giant allowed staff to take unlimited paid time off to care for family and friends during the pandemic – an arrangement that remains in place this financial year.

It has also voluntarily published its sexual orientation, disability and black heritage pay gaps, in addition to gender and ethnicity pay gaps, at April 2020.

Its median gender pay gap improved by 5.2% to 16.9%; and its ethnicity pay gap improved by 0.9% to 11.7%.

The firm’s median pay gaps including partners for sexual orientation, black heritage and disability were 3%, 9.6% and 10% respectively.

Michael said: “The thousands of talented people at KPMG bring with them a multitude of perspectives and experiences.  We do not want gender, ethnicity, identity, disability or background to be a barrier to anyone’s career at KPMG. That’s why we are voluntarily publishing our sexual orientation and disability pay gaps for the first time. We want to be as transparent as possible on the gaps that exist and how we are closing them.

“This year, we are also publishing our black heritage pay gap for the first time. In July 2020, we created a five-point plan that seeks to address some of the barriers black colleagues experience at KPMG. This plan is a long-term commitment to drive forward real structural change.”

No staff were put on furlough last year and it continued to recruit, taking on more than 900 graduates and apprentices and 950 experienced hires. An additional 1,800 people received a promotion.

The firm, which employs 15,776 people including partners, expects to downsize its offices, including its headquarters in Canary Wharf. It is set to invest £44m in transforming its estate to facilitate greater collaboration, in addition to new home working technology, as part of a new hybrid working model.

Staff will work part of the week from home and part in KMPG offices or client sites, which it hoped will enable it to access a broader, more diverse workforce.

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