More than 17,000 EY staff were notified of the £1100 average payout on Thursday afternoon, Sky News understands.
The big four accountancy firm EY is giving thousands of British-based staff a share of a £20m bonus pot after seeing a sharper-than-expected revenue bounce-back from the COVID
Sky News has learnt that EY is to hand an average £1,100 one-off payout to 17,500 employees - making it the second of the profession's dominant quartet to announce such a gesture, following a similar move by Deloitte in March.
Staff were informed of the payout in a video message from Hywel Ball, EY's UK chairman and UK and Ireland regional managing partner, on Thursday afternoon.
EY's UK partners will be excluded from the special bonus pot, according to one insider.
In his communication with staff, Mr Ball said the firm wanted to reward them for their work during the pandemic.
Insiders said that EY had made substantial cost-savings in areas such as its corporate travel budget as a consequence of COVID
Nevertheless, the bonus pot represents a substantial turnaround in the firm's outlook since the middle of last year, when it deferred partner promotions amid uncertainty about the financial impact of the pandemic.
Other big four firms, including KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, also made apparently drastic decisions to delay promotions and bonuses in the early stages of the coronavirus
In a statement issued in response to an enquiry from Sky News, Mr Ball said: "The COVID
-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people, communities and businesses in the UK, changing the way we work and live, and taking a vast emotional toll on individuals and families.
"It is against this backdrop that I am very proud of our people across the UK. They have worked incredibly hard to support our clients and stakeholders during very challenging circumstances.
"The payment we have announced today is a way for the EY partners to express our gratitude for their resilience and exceptional commitment."
A source said the one-off bonus was being awarded in addition to EY's annual salary and bonus reviews, which take place in October.