Google parent company Alphabet Inc. GOOGL GOOG has established a "COVID-19 fund" to help its workers affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Alphabet Workplace Services Director Adrienne Crowther noted that not all the contracted companies providing the internet services giant with vendors and temporary staff pay sick leaves to employees.
All third-party companies in the United States providing support workers to Alphabet in the United States are required to give paid sick leaves to employees, Crowther said, but the enforcement is currently in a "transition period."
The COVID-19 fund would make sure that all of its extended workforce is compensated for any days they may need to take off due to catching the coronavirus or otherwise being quarantined by authorities worldwide.
"As we're in a transition period in the U.S.—and to cover any gaps elsewhere in the world—Google is establishing a COVID-19 fund that will enable all our temporary staff and vendors, globally, to take paid sick leave if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19, or can't come into work because they're quarantined," Crowther said.
"Working with our partners, this fund will mean that members of our extended workforce will be compensated for their normal working hours if they can't come into work for these reasons."
Why It Matters
The same fund would be used to compensate hourly workers whose services aren't required, or needed for a lesser time, during the outbreak, according to Crowther.
The workers would be paid the same money as they would for the usual hours they worked before the outbreak, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai had announced last week, after a similar announcement from Microsoft Corporation MSFT.
Google has asked all of its employees in North American countries to work from home unless their work absolutely requires presence in office, as previously reported. This also means reduced need for support workers paid by the hour, including drivers or cafeteria staff, whose wages would be affected by the reduced or no work during the outbreak.
Alphabet Class A shares closed 4.88% higher at $1,275.17 on Tuesday. Class C shares closed 5.33% higher at $1,280.39.
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