Money and Markets

PwC will shut its US and Mexico offices for two weeks a year to help consultants recharge

Business Insider US
The announcement follows an update in the UK that consultants will be able to clock off early on Fridays during summer. Leon Neal / Staff / Getty Images
The announcement follows an update in the UK that consultants will be able to clock off early on Fridays during summer. Leon Neal / Staff / Getty Images
  • PwC will implement two shutdowns at its US and Mexico offices each year to help consultants recharge.
  • 55,000 staff in the USA and Mexico will also see their pay increased by 5% from June 1st.
  • It's part of a $2.4 billion investment in benefits and wellbeing, PwC announced on Friday.  
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), one of the world's largest consulting companies, will close its US and Mexico offices for two weeks a year in order to give consultants time to recharge, the company announced on Friday.

The move is part of a $2.4 billion investment over the next three years aimed at improving the pay, experience and wellbeing of the firm's 55,000 employees across the US and Mexico.

"Our people have told us that an important part of their wellbeing is having time to disconnect and recharge," Yolanda Seals-Coffield, deputy people leader, PwC US and Mexico told Insider.

Over the last few years PwC has implemented a firm-wide, one-week shutdown every December. It will now close for an additional week in July. The time off will be in addition to workers' paid vacation, which, Seals-Coffield said, averages between three to four weeks. 

"By far our people tell us that is the most valuable time they have away from work because we're all away together," Seals-Coffield said. 

Consulting and accountancy firms — known for their demanding work culture —  are scrambling to rethink the pay, benefits and the experience they offer partners, amid a wider talent war with investment banks and other industries. 

The new benefits package — rolled out under the banner "My+" — will also extend parental leave offered to all new parents from eight to 12 weeks. A 5% increase in base salaries of staff across the US and Mexico will come into force from June 1st.

From July, consultants will be able to work abroad for up to 20 days a year, as long as they comply with local tax and immigration regulations, Seals-Coffield said. They're already able to work remotely from anywhere in the continental US under the firm's current flexible working policy, announced in October. 

"It's no longer possible to compete on pay and benefits alone," Seals-Coffield said. 

"Fundamentally what is driving this strategy is that employees' expectations and mindsets have changed and people want greater control in choice around when, where and how much they work," Seals-Coffield said. 

This extends to giving them opportunities for development. The new benefits includes the launch of a new learning platform, as well as tools to help consultants provide their feedback to the company.  

On Wednesday, PwC's UK business – which operates as a separate regional entity to the US – announced that its 22,000 staff will be able to clock off at midday between June 1 and August 31, The Guardian reported.  

The UK switch to summer hours is part of a wider flexible working model termed "The Deal", which lets partners choose their own hours, as long as they spend at least two to three days a week on-site, per the newspaper.


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