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19 Oct 2022

Madison Marriage, Financial Times

Saudi Arabia: South African KPMG worker's death brings to surface commonplace patterns of migrant worker abuse; incl. co. comments

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"The plight of expat workers at KPMG Saudi Arabia", 18 Oct 2022

...But as news of De Waal’s death spread through KPMG and its network of alumni, so too did a sense of anger and unease among some of his former colleagues. His death came just days after he had been unexpectedly fired and told to leave Saudi Arabia by the end of that month...

KPMG’s treatment of De Waal is typical of how the firm operates in Saudi Arabia, according to interviews with 12 current and former employees at the Big Four accountancy firm. Those interviewed say unethical employment practices at KPMG Saudi Arabia are commonplace and have left expatriate staff fearing for their personal safety and struggling with their mental health...

The Financial Times has reviewed the circumstances surrounding the departures of seven western expatriates from KPMG Saudi Arabia since 2018...

Several of those interviewed say it was a complete shock when their relationship with KPMG was suddenly and unexpectedly terminated...

Racial tensions within the firm were a problem, several current and former insiders added, with xenophobic language towards certain nationalities...

“We do not recognise the allegations that have been made, including those concerned with the safety and welfare of our people. As a responsible employer, we take them seriously and will continue to keep people matters as a top priority. We have robust processes in place to deal with complaints and grievances and continuously look to review and enhance our processes based on feedback from our people.”
KPMG Saudi Arabia

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