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A grief-stricken relative of the woman who died after falling from a balcony in her Sydney office has paid tribute to their loved one with a heartfelt poem.
The 27-year-old Ernst & Young employee fell from an open-air terrace on the 10th floor of the building on Saturday around 12:30 p.m. onto a glass canopy at the entrance.
A person claiming to be a relative of the senior employee has written a 12-line emotional poem titled “Gone Too Soon” dedicated to their “sister.”
Daily Mail Australia’s heartbreaking words describe the woman as someone with ‘energy and passion of a different kind’ and go on to say that the loss will leave an ‘irreplaceable void in our lives’.
‘Life is turned upside down. Shocked without words. No age to go, much life lay before you, holding back our tears, for you will be missed for years to come,” it begins.
The 27-year-old Ernst & Young employee died around midnight on Saturday from the roof terrace of the company’s Sydney headquarters (pictured)
A man who claims to be a close relative of the senior employee has written an emotional tribute (pictured) dedicated to his ‘sister’ titled ‘Gone Too Soon’
‘Energy and passion were of a different kind, flashback of your birth in our minds, aiming to relive the bond and of love and respect for each year.
“Leave an irreplaceable void in our lives, will remember and cherish the beautiful memories, may your soul rest in peace.”
Daily Mail Australia understands that the woman’s relatives are still trying to piece together the chain of events that led to her tragic death.
The woman was working until about 7:30pm on Friday when she left her office in Sydney’s CBD before returning around midnight.
The senior staff member, now known as 27 and not 33 as previously reported, fell from the rooftop terrace of the 10th floor of the EY tower in the CBD onto the glass canopy
She was also originally thought to attend drinks at the Ivy nightclub in Sydney between 5:30 and 7:30 pm (pictured), but Daily Mail Australia now understands that she was in the office until then.
She was originally thought to go to work for drinks between 5:30pm and 7:30pm, but Daily Mail Australia now understands that she was in the office during that time.
This leaves a gap of nearly five hours in the woman’s movements.
About 20 minutes after she returned to her office, the woman apparently used her security pass to gain access to the restricted open-air patio – then tragically fell over.
Daily Mail Australia understands that EY is drafting plans to redesign the terrace guardrail to build a new barrier to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy.
The woman’s husband was on a flight from Singapore to Sydney at the time of her death and was told the terrible news after getting off the plane.
The woman is known to have been a stranger who had worked for EY for about six months.
Daily Mail Australia understands that EY has plans to redesign the guardrail on the terrace to create a new barrier to prevent a repeat of the tragedy (photo, 11th floor)
Read EY’s email to shocked staff
It is with great sadness that I share the news that one of our team members passed away this weekend at the EY building in Sydney.
While the police investigation is ongoing, we learned that there were no suspicious circumstances.
We have reached out to the affected person’s family to offer our condolences and continued support.
This loss of a colleague is deeply saddening, I want to assure you all that we will continue to offer support in as many ways as possible. This includes our EAP service which is available to all EY employees and their families.
As a result of this tragedy, we are conducting a comprehensive and comprehensive internal review that includes health and safety, security and social events. Jono Nicholas, our Chief Mental Health Advisor, will play a key role in guiding and advising on our progress.
The police investigation continues and there is no suggestion that EY – the trading name of Ernst & Young – or the senior employee’s superiors were in any way responsible for the employee’s death.
Staff received an email from a member of management on Monday saying that ‘It is with great sadness that I share the news that one of our team members passed away this weekend at the EY building in Sydney’.
“While the police investigation is ongoing, we have been informed that there were no suspicious circumstances,” the email read.
“We have reached out to the person’s family to offer our condolences and continued support.”
The email said the company would launch a “comprehensive and broad internal review” of its health and safety, security and social policies following the tragedy.
A group of EY employees told the Daily Mail Australia that employees had received guidance.
The incident has exposed the intense working conditions at many of the major multinationals, especially during the audit season from July to September.
Employees of the world’s top four international consultancies call their high-stakes workplaces the ‘The Meat Grinder’.
Employees, both past and present, have lifted the lid on the stressful environment often experienced at Big4 companies – with some arguing that the majority of new hires only work for two years.
Some say that employees are often pushed to the limit to complete the painstakingly detailed reports in a very short turnaround time, requiring hours of supposedly unpaid and unrecorded overtime.
Social media has been awash with so-called survivors who claimed they regularly worked around the clock to the point of exhaustion and beyond to meet deadlines.
But while billable hours are recorded at an average level of just 41-42 hours per week, the reality is reportedly often double – or even more.
Police searched CCTV footage from nearby cameras (pictured) to piece together the woman’s last moments
Social media has been awash with so-called survivors who claimed they regularly worked around the clock to the point of exhaustion and then to meet deadlines
One wrote: ‘The cruel work culture must be mentioned and make the news.
“From personal experience it is suicide to work less than 10 hours a day at EY. No joke. Not exaggerated at all.
‘The average working hours were from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., sometimes until 9:30 p.m. In other teams I heard that there were people there until 2 am.
‘No one stays for the wages either. The pay is s*** at all the big 4 consultancies.’
One admitted they still held on, but were now ready to quit: “I’m so mentally exhausted and unwell.
‘[But] they have given me so many assignments on top of a full time project.
‘Partners won’t care about you, they just want to make more sales and take more money. Awful. I’m so ready to go.’
EY has promised a “comprehensive and broad internal review” following the tragedy that will include health and safety, security and social events, led by their chief mental health adviser (pictured, an EY career event in Australia)
Another added: ‘As an auditor who works at one Big 4 and has worked for two other Big 4s, I am sure how stressful it is during year-end audits.
“I hope this tragedy sheds some light on this issue and that companies are more supportive of workers, especially at this time of year.”
Following the tragedy, EY has promised a “comprehensive and broad internal review that will include health and safety, security and social events” led by their chief mental health adviser.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted PwC, KPMG and Deloitte for a response to the claims.
Call for confidential 24 hour support in Australia Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Who are Ernst & Young?
Ernst & Young is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious accounting and consulting firms with approximately 600 offices worldwide.
The company, now known as EY, provides audits for some of the world’s largest companies and consults with governments on business risk, technology and human resources services.
The company, headquartered in the United Kingdom, is worth more than $40 billion.
International customers include Hewlett Packard computers, US telecom giant AT&T, Coca Cola, General Motors, Hilton hotels and Lockheed Martin.
EY’s Australian clients include retail giant Wesfarmers, Telstra, energy and minerals giants Newcrest Mining and Woodside Petroleum, as well as several government agencies.
The post-financial period ends on June 30 and is considered one of the peak times when large companies will require audits.
Those who work in the highly competitive corporate environment today know that they are working long hours.