Google extends household leave for staff members throughout coronavirus pandemic


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As the coronavirus continues to spread out, moms and dads and caretakers have actually pertained to significantly anticipate that school and other kids’s programs might not resume till the fall, if not later on. Google stated it’s going to assist staff members managing household and work obligations even further, ensuring as much as 14 complete weeks of paid leave.

Google’s brand-new leave policies, being revealed Thursday to its staff members, can be taken in increments, a business representative stated. That implies staff members working half-days can use up to 28 weeks of paid leave, for instance. This leave will not dip into the worker’s basic paid leave, Google included.

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The goal, the spokesperson said, was to give employees flexibility so they can take care of family during the lockdowns. The new policy will only be available to the company’s more than 100,000 full-time employees. Benefits for contractors are decided by their employers, the spokeswoman said. TVCs, which stands for “temps, vendors and contractors” in Google parlance, make up at least half of Google’s workforce. 

Google’s moves are the latest among tech companies attempting to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, and the government-ordered lockdowns employees throughout the world have faced. As employees began being told to work from home in March, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft promised to continue paying hourly workers even though the sprawling campuses they helped manage were mostly empty.

Tech companies have also used their considerable financial and manufacturing power to help create apps to help people identify if they have symptoms of the coronavirus. Tech companies have also manufactured and donated protective equipment for doctors, nurses and first responders. They’ve been called to help bolster unemployment phone systems and websites. And Apple and Google in particular are working together on contact tracing technology to help people and health officials identify when the coronavirus might spread and to whom.

In the note to employees Thursday, Google said it realizes employees are struggling with a range of issues during this crisis, and said managers will work to help as much as they can.

Working with employees

Google has historically set the tone for tech companies when it comes to benefits, helping to define the essence of Silicon Valley workplace culture. Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin famously instituted free food and policies and other perks that fellow tech giants would emulate as well. 

But over the years, as Google’s workforce grew, the company has also become a poster child of employee unrest. The company has dealt with uprisings from employees over the signing of an artificial intelligence contract with the Pentagon and Google’s work in China. Most notably, 20,000 employees walked out of their offices in November 2018 to protest leadership’s handling of sexual assault allegations.

Activists within the search giant also accused Google last year of firing employees over speaking out against workplace issues. Google at the time denied those claims. 

The coronavirus pandemic has also affected the company’s workforce more broadly. The company has told its employees around the world they should work from home. On Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees the company would be slowing down hiring for the rest of 2020. He said it had hired 20,000 people in 2019, and was poised for similar growth this year. Instead, Google will “dial back” plans in areas that aren’t critical to its success.

Employees so far appear to appreciate Google’s response to the coronavirus. The company spokesperson said almost 1,000 employees signed an internal letter thanking Google for helping them juggle family and work responsibilities during the crisis.

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