EY Staff in Oceania Report Overwork, Bullying, and Harassment

Must Read

Are employees at EY in Oceania facing a culture of overwork, bullying, and harassment? A landmark external review reveals shocking insights into the firm’s workplace conditions.

In a landmark external review, it has been revealed that employees at the big four consulting firm Ernst & Young in the Oceania region feel overwhelmed with work, subjected to bullying and harassment by their superiors, and fear retaliation if they speak up about bad behaviour. 

The review, which included a voluntary, anonymous survey of over 4,000 workers and other consultation measures, exposed a litany of complaints on various topics, ranging from management practices to long work hours and corporate culture.

Overworking and Its Toll on Employee Health

A critical issue highlighted by the report is the prevalence of overworking at EY. A staggering 11% of personnel reported routinely working more than 61 hours a week, which the firm blamed on a business model focused on “profit and delivery over people.” 

Almost half of the staff reported that their health had suffered due to the long working hours, and 40% even considered quitting their jobs because of the excessive workload.

“The impact of long working hours is devastating for some individuals. It not only affects their well-being but also impacts team cohesion and retention,” the report stated.

Fear of Speaking Up

One alarming finding from the review is that employees are afraid to report bad behaviour by their superiors, fearing it might harm their careers. This lack of trust in the reporting mechanisms stems from instances where staff who formally complained about misconduct experienced retaliation.

“Bullying, sexual harassment, and racism have no place in any workplace, including ours. We apologise to anyone who has suffered as a result,” said EY Oceania Chief Executive David Larocca.

Unequal Experiences Across Gender and Minority Groups

While most staff and partners feel safe and believe in respectful behaviour within the firm, the report highlighted that everyone does not share positive experiences equally. Women and minority groups, such as those identifying as ethnically Indian, Chinese, Maori, Hindu, or Muslim, reported experiencing lower levels of safety and inclusion at EY Oceania.

“Partners and senior staff need to be held accountable for their actions, and we should not normalise bullying or harassment in any way,” emphasised former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, who led the review.

Scepticism Toward Leadership’s Commitment to Change

The report has sent shockwaves across EY’s leadership, and there is scepticism among the staff regarding their commitment to meaningful changes. While personnel expressed confidence in seeing changes to reduce sexual harassment, racism, and bullying, only 31% were confident that EY Oceania could change a culture of long working hours and overwork.

“We must look hard at our practices and policies to create a more respectful and inclusive workplace. Our leadership must walk the talk and prioritise employee well-being,” said Kate Hillman, EY Oceania’s people, place, and culture leader.

Implications for the Industry and Workforce

The findings and recommendations from the review have broader implications for the professional services sector, as work practices in advisory firms often permeate through the economy. 

The report’s 27 recommendations aim to improve the firm’s workplace, including reducing overwork through more accurate project scoping and resourcing, increasing accountability for staff retention, and revising performance metrics to emphasise diversity and inclusion.

“We commend EY for commissioning this review; it is an essential step towards building a safe, supportive, and inclusive culture,” Ms Broderick remarked.

EY faces significant challenges as it grapples with overwork, workplace misconduct, and issues of inclusion and diversity. The firm’s leadership now faces the task of implementing the recommendations from the review to create a more respectful and inclusive workplace for all its employees. 

The findings from this report also serve as a wake-up call to the broader professional services sector, urging firms to prioritise their workforce’s well-being and work towards fostering a more inclusive corporate culture.

- Advertisement -spot_img
Latest News
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -spot_img