NEW DELHI: Global consulting firm, Accenture is laying off 5 per cent of its workforce across all locations which translate to nearly 10,000 roles being cut in India alone. India has the largest employee base of Accenture, nearly 2 lakh out of the 5 lakh global workforce.
Accenture CEO, Julie Sweet said in a global internal meeting that was streamed online earlier that in addition to 5 per cent trimming of their workforce, the company may identify more people based on their performance for the action.
The National Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), General Secretary, Harpreet Saluja confirmed to The New Indian Express that they have received complaints from the laid-off employees at Accenture and will file a complaint with the Maharashtra Labour department.
“ The employees of Accenture who approached us said that they were asked to resign and upon their refusal to do the same they will not be able to avail the notice period pay as well as gratuity. This is against the labour laws and we are approaching the labour commissioner office,” he added.
In the UK, Accenture had reportedly laid-off 8 per cent of its workforce (800 employees) in July across all levels and departments. Top industry sources said that the company will trim its workforce in the July-September period and further action will be decided after that.
“At this time we are not planning extraordinary global workforce actions. Every year, as part of our performance process, we have conversations with our people about how they are performing, areas for improvement, their potential to progress, and whether they are a long term fit for Accenture. This year, across all parts of our business and all career levels, we will identify approximately 5 per cent of our people as our lowest performers, and these individuals will transition out of Accenture. This is consistent with our actions each year. We continue managing our business for the long term and critical to this is ensuring we have the right people with the right skills to best serve our clients. In India, we continue to hire, and as part of our ongoing compensation programs, we also recently recognized a number of our people with bonuses and promotions,” Accenture told this publication in an emailed response.
The Accenture CEO earlier informed the employees that due to the lack of available projects, the growth has declined from 8 per cent in February before COVID to 1.3 per cent as the pandemic took a toll on the businesses. In response to the queries posed to Sweet related to the changed metrics of performance assessment, she said that on the back of the slowed demand overall, the working hours of the company’s staff allocated to the paying clients had dropped below 90 per cent for the first time in a decade and that these tools were necessary to transition out the company.
Interestingly, amidst the pandemic, Accenture went on an acquisition spree with five buyouts of boutqiue tech firms in the US, UK, Canada in cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic process automation to expand market reach and clinch large client deals. Accenture had earlier announced setting aside a budget of USD 1.5 billion for mergers and acquisitions.