Deloitte to slash 800 jobs with consulting hit hardest

31 October 2023 3 min. read
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Deloitte has announced plans to shed around 800 roles across its British operations. Almost a fifth of the jobs lost will be from junior consultants.

Together, KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and EY employ more than 80,000 people in the UK. The firms had been ramping up hiring in recent times, hoping to capitalise on a boom in demand following the crisis period of the pandemic, and continued uncertainty thanks to supply chain disruption and rampant inflation. However, as demand slows, the quartet are currently facing a threat to their bottom-line – and the payouts they can offer their partners.

In anticipation of this, Deloitte has become the latest member of the Big Four to announce cuts. A raft of 800 proposed job losses represents a 3% cut in the company's 27,000-strong workforce in the UK – months after Deloitte announced plans to slash 1,200 jobs in the US as well.

Deloitte to slash 800 jobs with consulting hit hardest

Deloitte office, 1 New Street Square, London

Deloitte chief executive Richard Houston said in a statement, "This follows a slowdown in growth, which, combined with the ongoing economic uncertainty, means we have to consider the shape of our business and may mean we have to make some difficult decisions… I fully understand this is an unsettling time for those people affected and we will be doing everything we can to support individuals with care and respect."

However, until now it has been unclear precisely where the axe would fall. Now, an internal presentation to staff delivered last month, and reported recently by the Financial Times suggests that it is junior consultants who will bear the brunt of the cuts. With 150 first and second-year consulting roles picked out for redundancies, just under 19% of the reductions will come from juniors.

More than 60% of those job cuts will come from a single team: Deloitte’s enterprise technology and performance wing. Part of Deloitte’s UK consulting business focusing on supply chains and IT services, a number of graduate roles are expected to go, if the presentation’s plans come to pass – with 18 first-year graduates out of 74, and 85 out of 218 second-year graduates facing the exit door.

Meanwhile, in human capital management – another subsection of its consulting arm that advises companies on human resources – Deloitte plans to fire 45 out of 172 graduates, more than half the total number of lay-offs in the department. This would see Deloitte remove 18 out of 51 first-year graduates, and 27 out of 121 graduates in their second year.

Graduates who started work in September 2023 will not be affected by the cull, according to the presentation. However, some will be left puzzled why graduates should be expected to carry the can at all, considering the weight of partner payouts in contrast to their salaries. In each of the past three years Deloitte’s partners have been paid an average of more than £1 million.

Deloitte has so far declined to issue a statement on the graduate job cuts. In September, however, it did note that some roles at the firm were at risk of redundancy because of “targeted restructuring” across the business as growth had slowed.

Elsewhere in the Big Four, earlier in the year PwC told its UK staff to expect smaller pay-rises and bonuses this year – while EY said it would cut 150 jobs in its UK financial services consulting business. More recently, KPMG announced in October that it would fire 110 people in its UK deals business – having already declared there would be 125 redundancies in its consulting business.