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Great Britain: audit firms using sabbatical leave to deal with the coronavirus crisis
Planet Labor, 8 April 2020, n°11815 - www.planetlabor.com

In order to lessen the financial impact of the health crisis, audit and consulting firms are looking into the idea of the sabbatical leave option. Thus, professional services firm Grant Thornton has invited its employees to voluntarily choose between one of these two options by April 10, (i) take sabbatical leave until the end of June, during which they will receive 30% of their salary, or (ii) opt for a 40% reduction in their hours and pay until the end of May. Grant Thornton UK said, “These are clearly exceptional times and these voluntary measures help us to support our people while also continuing to support our clients.” The company is counting on the good will of at least 10% of its 4,500 UK employees to avoid, if possible, having to resort to the government’s aid plan, the implementation of which is considered complex by some employers (c.f. article No. 11771). Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting and professional services organizations ‘has offered all of its 16,000 staff an unpaid “childcare and dependants” sabbatical’. Meanwhile French global audit, accounting and consulting group Mazars has introduced voluntary unpaid leave for teams in the UK whose workload has significantly slowed down.