Detailed within a Forbes article this week, an interview with Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock revealed that the majority of Google employees are covered under an interesting benefits policy. If a Google employee passes away while still working for the search company, the surviving spouse will receive 50 percent of the employees’ annual salary each year over a ten year period. For instance, if a Google product manager making $75,000 per year passes away, the spouse will receive $375,000 spread out over a ten year period.
In addition, the policy also covers domestic partnership in the case of a same-sex couple. According to another spokesperson for Google, there doesn’t appear to be much of a waiting period for the coverage to kick in for a salaried Google employee.
Google has some of the highest paid employees in the tech industry making for some potentially expensive ten-year payouts in case of death. However, Google also has on-site doctors that employees can use for medical checkups as well as exercise facilities to stay healthy.
When asked about the policy, Bock stated “One of the things we realized recently was that one of the harshest but most reliable facts of life is that at some point most of us will be confronted with the death of our partners. And it’s a horrible, difficult time no matter what, and every time we went through this as a company we tried to find ways to help the surviving spouse of the Googler who’d passed away.”
Beyond the extended half-salary period over ten years, all stocks will be vested for the spouse. Also, children of the Google employee will receive a $1,000 payment each month until they reach the age of nineteen. That payment period is extended to 23 if the child is continuing his or her education at college. It’s likely that this money is held in a trust under the control of the surviving parent until the child reaches a certain age. When it comes to childbirth, Google also offers an impressive set of benefits. A new mother can take off up to 4.5 months of paid leave after giving birth and a new father can take up to six weeks of paid leave.
Other perks for employees at Google include cafes stocked with free food, gyms, lap pools, rock climbing walls, hiking trails and yoga classes for exercise, on-site laundry and dry cleaning, on-site car washes and oil changes, salons for haircuts, on-site child care, on-site massages and game rooms to have a little fun during breaks. Due to many of these perks as well as the competitive salaries, Google was named the best place to work within America on a recent Forbes list.
According to Bock, he manages a team that monitors Google employee satisfaction. Using surveys and group discussions, Bock and his team find new ways to improve working conditions at all Google locations. When asked why the company invests this level of time and effort into improving Google employee satisfaction, Bock stated “There is, of course, research that show employee benefit programs like ours can improve retention, and appear to improve performance on some level. But it turns out that the reason we’re doing these things for employees is not because it’s important to the business, but simply because it’s the right thing to do.”