PwC is set to give around half of its UK workforce their biggest pay rise in a decade, in hiking around 11,000 of its workers base salaries.
The accountancy firm is set to give a nine per cent pay rise to around half of its more than 22,000 staff – at a cost to the firm of around £120m.
The salary increases come in the midst of a battle for talent amongst the Big Four accounting firms, on the back of buoyant demand for professional services due the economic disruption caused by Covid-19, and wider shift in the workforce that has seen almost one million people leave jobs as part of the “Great Resignation”.
The salary hikes come just a month after KPMG gave pay rises to all 15,800 of its rank-and-file staff, at flat rates of either £2,000 or £4,000 depending on job position.
The accountancy firm’s chairman, Kevin Ellis, said PwC as a “business and an employer” is no longer able to “ignore market pressures,” as he suggested that in raising base salaries, the firm is seeking “to ensure pay at every level is as competitive as possible”.
PwC also set out plans to up its graduate trainee salaries by 10 per cent in preparation for the start its graduate scheme in coming weeks.
Ellis said the move is aimed at ensuring salaries on its entry schemes “are as competitive as possible” as he suggested fresh graduates are likely to see pay as an “increasingly important consideration” going forwards due to “rising living costs”.
As part of the pay hikes, PwC also added a £10m sum to its bonus pool, bringing the total to £138m.
However, the company chairman noted that “base pay is particularly important… given the bearing it can have on mortgages and future salary.”
The comments come as major firms including Lloyds Bank and Rolls-Royce have in recent weeks given staff thousands of pounds each in one-off bonuses.
Critics have however argued that employers are increasingly opting to pay out bonuses – rather than giving pay rises – as a means of avoiding being locked in to inflationary pay deals.