Connect with us
https://tickernews.co/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/AmEx-Thought-Leaders.jpg

Money

EY Australia staff claim bullying, harassment, retaliation

Published

on

A comprehensive 142-page report investigating the workplace conditions at EY, a major professional services firm in Australia, has revealed numerous concerning issues within the organization.

Led by former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, the report sheds light on problems that have implications not only for EY but also for the wider professional services sector and the broader white-collar workforce.

The report found that 11% of EY personnel regularly worked more than 61 hours a week, leading to health problems and prompting 40% of staff, particularly senior ranks, to consider quitting. Additionally, the study exposed instances of bullying experienced by 15% of staff over the past five years, sexual harassment affecting 10%, and racism affecting 8% of employees.

Of significant concern was the discovery that those who formally reported misconduct faced retaliation, resulting in a lack of trust in reporting mechanisms. The investigation was triggered by the tragic suicide of a 27-year-old Indian-Australian auditor at EY’s Sydney office, which sparked conversations about work hours, the company’s culture, and mental health issues in the entire professional services industry.

The report contradicted previous statements from EY’s leaders about working conditions, where the firm claimed not to overwork its employees. To address the issues uncovered, Elizabeth Broderick proposed 27 recommendations, including better project scoping, resourcing, and costing to reduce overwork, increased accountability for staff retention, and revised performance metrics focusing on diversity and inclusion.

EY’s CEO, David Larocca, acknowledged the problems and pledged to create a more respectful and inclusive workplace, committing to implementing all of Broderick’s recommendations. However, the report highlighted skepticism among EY’s staff regarding the company’s willingness to make meaningful changes to cut working hours.

Apart from overwork, the report exposed a normalization of bullying within the organization, with instances occurring even among senior staff. The issue of sexual harassment was prevalent, with a perception that reporting such behavior was discouraged, especially when the perpetrators held leadership positions. Furthermore, employees from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds were more likely to experience racism at EY.

Overall, the report serves as a wake-up call for EY and the broader professional services industry to address critical workplace issues and foster a more inclusive, respectful, and supportive environment for their employees. Crisis support is available for those in need, and the company’s commitment to implementing the recommendations offers hope for positive change.

Continue Reading

Money

US energy stocks surge amid economic growth and inflation fears

Published

on

Investors are turning to U.S. energy shares in droves, capitalizing on surging oil prices and a resilient economy while seeking protection against looming inflationary pressures.

The S&P 500 energy sector has witnessed a remarkable ascent in 2024, boasting gains of approximately 17%, effectively doubling the broader index’s year-to-date performance.

This surge has intensified in recent weeks, propelling the energy sector to the forefront of the S&P 500’s top-performing sectors.

A significant catalyst driving this rally is the relentless rise in oil prices. U.S. crude has surged by 20% year-to-date, propelled by robust economic indicators in the United States and escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Investors are also turning to energy shares as a hedge against inflation, which has proven more persistent than anticipated, threatening to derail the broader market rally.

Ayako Yoshioka, senior portfolio manager at Wealth Enhancement Group, notes that having exposure to commodities can serve as a hedge against inflationary pressures, prompting many portfolios to overweight energy stocks.

Shell Service Station

Shell Service Station

Energy companies

This sentiment is underscored by the disciplined capital spending observed among energy companies, particularly oil majors such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Among the standout performers within the energy sector this year are Marathon Petroleum, which has surged by 40%, and Valero Energy, up by an impressive 33%.

As the first-quarter earnings season kicks into high gear, with reports from major companies such as Netflix, Bank of America, and Procter & Gamble, investors will closely scrutinize economic indicators such as monthly U.S. retail sales to gauge consumer behavior amidst lingering inflation concerns.

The rally in energy stocks signals a broadening of the U.S. equities rally beyond growth and technology companies that dominated last year.

However, escalating inflation expectations and concerns about a hawkish Federal Reserve could dampen investors’ appetite for non-commodities-related sectors.

Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel Corp., highlights investors’ focus on the robust economy amidst supply bottlenecks in commodities, especially oil.

This sentiment is echoed by strategists at Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets, who maintain bullish calls on energy shares, citing heightened geopolitical risks and strong economic fundamentals.

Continue Reading

Money

How Australians lose nearly $1 billion to card scammers in a year

Published

on

A recent study by Finder has unveiled a distressing trend: Australians are hemorrhaging money to card scams at an alarming rate.

The survey, conducted among 1,039 participants, painted a grim picture, with 2.2 million individuals – roughly 11% of the population – falling prey to credit or debit card skimming in 2023 alone.

The financial toll of these scams is staggering. On average, victims lost $418 each, amounting to a colossal $930 million collectively across the country.

Rebecca Pike, a financial expert at Finder, underscored the correlation between the surge in digital transactions and the proliferation of sophisticated scams.

“Scammers are adapting, leveraging sophisticated tactics that often mimic trusted brands or exploit personal connections. With digital transactions on the rise, it’s imperative for consumers to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their financial assets,” Pike said.

Read more – How Google is cracking down on scams

Concerning trend

Disturbingly, Finder’s research also revealed a concerning trend in underreporting.

Only 9% of scam victims reported the incident, while 1% remained oblivious to the fraudulent activity initially. Additionally, 1% of respondents discovered they were victims of bank card fraud only after the fact, highlighting the insidious nature of these schemes.

Pike urged consumers to exercise heightened scrutiny over their financial statements, recommending frequent monitoring for any unauthorised transactions.

She explained the importance of leveraging notification services offered by financial institutions to promptly identify and report suspicious activity.

“Early detection is key. If you notice any unfamiliar transactions, don’t hesitate to contact your bank immediately. Swift action can mitigate further unauthorised use of your card,” Pike advised, underscoring the critical role of proactive measures in combating card scams.

As Australians grapple with the escalating threat of card fraud, Pike’s counsel serves as a timely reminder of the necessity for heightened vigilance in an increasingly digitised financial landscape.

Continue Reading

Money

Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

Published

on

Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

Continue Reading
Live Watch Ticker News Live
Advertisement

Trending Now

Copyright © 2024 The Ticker Company