Big 4 Overtime – An Update From Canada

I have written about the Big 4 overtime lawsuits extensively.  My fellow blogger, Krupo at A Counting School, has followed the cases in Canada religiously.  Now news comes that the Big 4 have all capitulated, under the threat of lawsuits, to pay their non-Chartered Accountant staff their legally required overtime.

Canada’s program for becoming a Chartered Accountant is more formal and more regulated than the US process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant.  It is organized, in a sense, like a formal apprenticeship, with registration during the process, rigid experience requirements, and sponsorship by an appropriate firm required.  As such, the issue is whether overtime was paid before someone started this process but while they were working for the firms, either as an intern or a full time professional.   Since the students are required to work for one of the approved firms in order to become a Chartered Accountant, the firms had a captive staff supply that could be exploited under the guise of having to “pay your dues.”  The laws were always on the books in Canada, just not enforced, and it took the threat of a class action lawsuit against KPMG to move the boulder up the hill of justice.
So Yea! to the plaintiff’s lawyers, and Yea! to the brave staff who joined the initial claims. You have changed the work environment for the better for all of your colleagues.
Deloitte joins the rest of the Big Four – staff to receive overtime

I’m not at all surprised that you’ll find my site if you Google big four Canada overtime – I already pointed out that three of the big four are paying out overtime to their non-CA staff and seniors. n.b. provincial laws treat CA, CGA, CMA and CPA and students registered to study for those designations as “professionals” ineligible for overtime pay, regardless of rank.

Well now it turns out that all of the big four are doing it – Deloitte & Touche has joined the party.

A kind reader who worked for Deloitte pointed this out to me – Deloitte’s non-CA staff’s overtime hours are about to stop being “unpaid”.

The news isn’t that fresh, but this isn’t the sort of thing you see on the front page of the newspaper – unless you Googled “deloitte Canada overtime” you might not be aware of it…

Another intriguing fact is that Deloitte’s practice has been to NOT pay for their summer interns’ CA student fees.

The interns, not surprisingly, generally don’t end up signing up as CA students, reasoning – correctly – that the firm would pay their fees when they return as full-time employees. The Ontario CA institute – the ICAO – will even let you pick up 8 months of time you spent before becoming legally registered as a CA student, so the interns had all the incentives in the world to take this approach.

All the incentives plus one: by not being legally registered CA students, their work was all subject to overtime labour laws.

Does A Counting School believe Deloitte is going insist on having all their interns getting registered as soon as they show up for work?


There’s not a rhetorical device strong enough to emphasize how obviously they’re going to do just that moving forward…

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  1. […] might recall that the Big 4 accounting firms have already caved, without going to trial, in Canada.  As I said to Mr. Kershaw, what happened in Canada stayed in […]

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