BDO announced that it is implementing a range of measures to lower its cost base in light of the ongoing pandemic.
In order to “protect” employees facing reduced workloads, the firm has furloughed 700 of its 5500 roles, stating its intention to “top up wages so that employees still receive 100% of their pay”.
Out of the 700 furloughed staff, 470 are first year trainees who will reportedly use the time to study, whilst the further 230 are support staff. It expects these roles to be affected until the end of May.
In further measures to shore up cash, BDO will reduce its equity partner draws by up to 25%, while partners will also have their monthly pay cut by 25%.
As well as implementing pay cuts, the group will also freeze all pay increases, promotions and new recruitment, whilst honouring all offers to recruits who are set to join soon.
The accountancy giant also announced that the payment of quarterly dividends will be frozen until January 2021.
The firm said that such measures come after a “general consensus that we are either in, or about to enter, a severe global recession”, and warned that the crisis is “having a significant impact on client demand and our own financial position”.
A BDO spokesperson said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a fundamental impact on the world’s global economy. There is general consensus that we are either in, or about to enter, a severe global recession.
“Governments around the world are introducing economic policies and support package to help businesses protect jobs. BDO is not unaffected by the situation and we have had to take clear – but temporary – measures to ensure we can weather the current storm and protect jobs.”