Big Four accounting firm EY has told all U.K. staff, including those in its legal arm, to use 70% of their annual leave by the end of August.
EY said in a statement that the measures are “intended to protect individual well-being while also safeguarding EY’s efficiency and productivity throughout the year”.
“We are strongly encouraging our people and partners in the U.K. to spread their annual leave across the year by taking 70% of their annual leave entitlement by 31 August, which is in line with what people would normally do in any given year,” the statement added.
Staff have also been asked to use 35% of annual leave by the end of July, a person close to the situation added.
EY’s statement continued: “In addition, EY has previously announced that it will do everything possible to navigate through the COVID-19 situation with no redundancies or furloughing amongst its 17,000 UK employees and no reduction in employee salaries.”
The Big Four giant has also extended a period of special leave of up to two weeks for those who have caring responsibilities in emergency situations.
EY has also extended the provision of full discretionary sick pay to all employees, regardless of the length of service.
The Big Four firms have been taking measures to combat the economic impact of the virus. PwC froze promotions, pay rises and bonuses across its whole U.K. business, while KPMG partners have taken a pay cut and Deloitte Legal deferred its partner profit distributions.
EY’s Oceania business, meanwhile, enacted a hiring freeze and reduced partner drawings, as as well as cutting staff pay and hours.