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Accenture To Cut Up To 900 U.K. Jobs Due To Coronavirus

The company plans to cut between 700 and 900 employees in its U.K. office in response to a downturn in demand for its services, but the firm told CRN to not expect any other ‘extraordinary global workforce actions.’

Accenture is planning to cut up to 900 positions in its U.K. operations in the wake of the company's hints last week during a recent earnings call that managing cost efficiencies could have headcount implications.

The Guardian Thursday first reported that Accenture is looking to cut 700 to 900 of its U.K. employees at all levels between July and September due to reduced demand for its services. The media outlet reported Accenture has a total of 11,000 employees in the U.K.

The Guardian, citing a memo Accenture sent to its U.K. staff, said the planned cuts stemmed from Accenture going "into the crisis with an overcapacity of people relative to demand."

[Related: Some May Work From Home Permanently After COVID-19: Gartner]

While the Guardian did not tie the "crisis" cited in the memo to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, other reports about the planned job cuts did.

Bloomberg reported the planned U.K. headcount reduction to a "sharp slump in demand for its advisory work" stemming from the pandemic.

During Accenture's June 25 financial analyst conference call to discuss the company's third fiscal quarter 2020 financials, CEO Julie Sweet responded to an analyst's question about possible layoffs by saying, "As I've said before, we've identified some real areas of efficiencies and so that has obviously headcount implications to it, which may be what you're calling layoffs."

Accenture, in an statement emailed to CRN Thursday, wrote that the company is not planning extraordinary global workforce actions beyond the planned actions in the U.K.

"We remain confident in our business in the UK for the long term. We are taking steps now to be able to continue investing in our workforce and our business, ensuring we have the right people with the right skills to best serve our clients and are well positioned for the future. We have notified our UK people that it is necessary to go into collective employee consultation for a proposed redundancy programme," Accenture wrote in the statement.

The company declined to provide further information.

While the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to thoughts about potential headcount cuts throughout the tech industry as companies look to manage costs, Accenture has acquired at least five other companies during this time.

Another consulting giant, Deloitte, began layoffs in late May, cutting 5 percent of its US workforce. The company also laid off 7 percent of its employee base in Australia.

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