Google to begin giving temp workers full benefits

Internal memo reveals that search giant will begin paying its temporary workers and contractors a $15 minimum wage, as well as providing healthcare and paid parental leave

3Apr

In an internal memo provided exclusively to The Hill, Google has revealed that by 2022 it will require contracted and temporary workers to receive its full benefits package, which includes healthcare, paid parental leave and a $15 minimum wage.

The announcement came the same day that a group of 915 Google workers signed a letter calling for equal treatment for the company's 'TVCs', its internal name for temporary employees and contractors. In the letter, the 'Googlers' claimed that TVCs account for 54% of the tech giant's workforce, roughly 122,000 positions, although Google has declined to confirm these figures.

The decision has followed many years of Google employees levelling complaints about inequality in the company's treatment of temporary workers and contractors, as they typically received lower pay and fewer benefits.

"These are meaningful changes, and we're starting in the US, where comprehensive healthcare and paid parental leave are not mandated by US law," Google's vice-president of people operations Eileen Naughton wrote in the memo. "As we learn from our implementation here, we'll identify and address areas of potential improvement in other areas of the world."

Google is also now requiring outside companies utilizing freelancers and contractors to provide health care, $15 minimum wage, 12 weeks of parental leave and at least eight days of sick leave.

It is giving the companies that employ the TVCs, its 'suppliers', until January to implement the minimum wage requirements and until 2022 to institute healthcare benefits and parental leave. If the suppliers fail to meet the new standards, a Google spokeswoman told The Hill that they would no longer "be able to provide talent to Google".

"If folks don't meet the standards by the deadline, then business decisions will need to be made, and then we'll need to continue to audit our suppliers through perpetuity to make sure that people are still meeting those standards," she added. 

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