Jessica Fino 11 Dec 2018 11:19am

KPMG and PwC admit firing partners for inappropriate behaviour

KPMG has dismissed seven of its UK partners and PwC UK five of its partners for inappropriate behaviour over the past few years

Yesterday it was revealed that Deloitte UK had fired 20 of its 1,000 partners over the last four years due to inappropriate behaviour, including sexual harassment and bullying.

KPMG said seven of its 635 partners had been dismissed for bullying and/or sexual harassment behaviour over the last four years.

PwC also admitted five out of its 915 partners were fired in the last three years for inappropriate behaviour.

A PwC spokesperson said, “We’re committed to ensuring an inclusive, fair and diverse workplace and do not tolerate harassment or bullying.

“We regularly review and update our policies and recently established a new inclusive and positive workplace policy with guidance for our people on areas such as standards of expected behaviour."

Meanwhile, Anna Purchas, head of people for KPMG, said its anti-harassment, victimisation and bullying policy “strictly prohibits” such behaviours at the firm.

“When our people experience or see behaviour they believe contravenes this policy, we actively encourage them to report it to us, either by speaking to a manager, senior colleague, dedicated HR contact or via Speak Up, our whistleblowing hotline or our Values Helpline,” she explained.

“When we receive reports of behaviour that contravenes our policy we have a set disciplinary process and where allegations are upheld, we have taken a range of actions including dismissal.”

Purchas added that, since the #metoo campaign, the firm conducted a review of its policies around sexual harassment and ran an internal campaign to highlight how seriously it takes this topic.

“We regularly reiterate this message through our internal channels. In addition to this we offer specific, ongoing training to those in a managerial capacity to foster a culture of inclusivity and respect,” she said.

EY has been approached for comment.

Beth Hale, technical director at law firm CM Murray, said that firms disclosing this information was, “Further evidence of real cultural change – a move by businesses towards transparency and encouraging people to speak up about unacceptable behaviour rather than brushing it under the carpet.

“This kind of shift will not happen overnight, but it is really positive that big employers such as Deloitte are leading from the front."