A recent review on the workplace culture of a major accounting firm by former federal sex discrimination commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has found the firm's 24/7 work culture normalized bullying and immense pressure on employees, causing widespread harm.
The firm's focus on billable hours and constant client availability led to long working hours, with about 31% of employees working more than 51 hours per week, and almost half reporting subsequent negative health effects.
The review revealed employees under excessive pressure, facing unreasonable project deadlines, inadequate resources, and unclear workload guidelines.
Managers discouraged accurate time recording, leading to underestimation of work hours on time sheets.
Bullying was also a concern, with 15% experiencing it in the past five years, often from senior staff.
The review proposed 27 recommendations, including improving project management practices, equal distribution of work hours, addressing long working hours, and providing training on various workplace issues.
EY Oceania has reportedly accepted all the recommendations.
Access the Independent Review into Workplace Culture at EY Oceania, Elizabeth Broderick & Co, July 2023 here
Source: OHS Alert, 07 August