Employment Law

PwC laying off hundreds of workers, Canadians affected

A photo of a person working at a desk covered in multiple items. (Photo: charlesdeluvio / Unsplash

Hundreds of jobs are on the chopping block as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) trims its global headcount.

According to news outlets, including Reuters, the accounting giant plans to lay off approximately 600 employees in the U.K. and nearly 340 in Australia.

The job cuts come as the company continues to look for ways to reduce redundancies while navigating a slowing economy and lower than normal attrition rates.

In 2022, PwC employed a total workforce of nearly 328,000 people, according to its Global Annual Review.

Canadian staff affected

At least two dozen Canadian employees at PwC have contacted Samfiru Tumarkin LLP — claiming that they have been let go by the company.

Our employment lawyers are following up with affected staff and reviewing their severance offers.

Anuja Kale-Agarwal, a spokesperson for PwC Canada, told The Globe and Mail via email that “some limited job reductions” have been made — representing less than two per cent of the company’s Canadian workforce.

PwC employs more than 7,700 people in Canada and has 19 offices across the country.

Two per cent of the company’s Canadian workforce would represent approximately 150 people.

Major layoffs continue

The latest round of job cuts at PwC come amid a flurry of layoffs in 2023.

Major employers, including Ubisoft, Maersk, Panera, Splunk, National Bank, and Nokia, have recently scaled back their staffing levels as they grapple with challenging economic conditions.

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Termination agreements for PwC Canada employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at PwC are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for federally regulated workers
Severance packages in mass layoffs

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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