Unite is calling for an urgent review of the fees, major accountancy firms can charge when a company falls into administration, after it was revealed today (16 August) that following Carillion’s collapse staff at accountancy giant PwC charged on average £356 a hour for their services.
In the first eight weeks following Carillion’s collapse in January, PwC billed £20.4 million for its services. It is expected that PwC will earn in excess of £50 million as a result of Carillion’s demise.
PwC was appointed by the government in its role as official receiver to manage and then find new contractors for the company’s outsourced contracts, break up and run down the business.
In a letter to the joint parliamentary select committee inquiry into Carillion, PwC also admitted that some pension specialists were paid £1,156 an hour for their work, the highest rates charged.
Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “Unite is passionate about ensuring that all workers are paid the correct rate for the job, however for the thousands of workers who have lost their jobs due to Carillion’s collapse, these figures will be viewed as both eye watering and excessive.
“PwC like all the major accountancy firms had previously worked with Carillion. To be then being granted such lucrative work by the government, smacks of rewards for failure.
“On average PwC staff will be earning in an hour what many of the workers who have had their lives turned upside down earnt in a week.
“With the very real prospect that further Carillion style collapses of companies involved in outsourcing, could be in the pipeline, the government needs to introduce a realistic cap on what can be charged when accountants are brought in to mop up similar messes in the future.”