Google paternity leave: Google Just Increased Parental Leave To 24 Weeks—Here’s How That Compares To Other Tech Giants

Опубликовано: August 15, 2023 в 10:50 am


Категории: Miscellaneous

Google nixes paying out rest of medical leave for laid-off employees

A man walks through Google offices on January 25, 2023 in New York City.

Leonardo Munoz | Corbis News | Getty Images

Google is indicating to ex-staffers, who got laid off while on maternity and medical leave, that they won’t get paid for all of their remaining time off, according to former employees and written correspondence shared with CNBC.

More than 100 former workers have organized a group they call “Laid off on Leave.” They’re asking executives to pay them for the weeks and months they were approved to take off before the job cuts were announced in January. Those who spoke with CNBC said they’ve been told they’ll only receive pay through their designated end date, along with standard severance.

The group of former employees sent a letter to executives, including CEO Sundar Pichai and Chief People Officer Fiona Cicconi, on three separate occasions, most recently on March 9, without receiving a response. The group includes people who were approved for or are currently on maternity leave, baby bonding leave, caregiver’s leave, medical leave and personal leave. 

Early last year, Google announced it would be increasing parental leave for full-time employees to 18 weeks for all parents and 24 weeks for birth parents. Cicconi said at the time that the company wanted to offer “extraordinary benefits” so employees could “spend more time with their new baby, look after a sick loved one or take care of their own wellbeing.”

But Google parent Alphabet has since entered its most severe era of cost cuts in its almost two decades on the public market. The company said in January that it was eliminating 12,000 jobs, representing about 6% of its workforce, to reckon with slowing sales growth following an extended period of expansion in the tech sector.

Pichai said U.S.-based employees would receive 16 weeks of severance pay plus two weeks for each additional year they worked at Google. The company also said it would include paid time off in the severance.

Those who were laid off while on medical leave are urging Pichai and other leaders to provide immediate clarity on the matter because of an upcoming deadline: official severance terms are expected to arrive as soon as March 31.

The Laid off on Leave group sent its first email to executives in January, and shared specific examples of Google employees impacted by the job cuts while on their previously approved leave.

One woman said she was laid off a week after her maternity leave was approved. Another said she received notice while on maternity leave, a week before she was due to give birth.

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Some discussed the matter publicly.

“Exactly a week after receiving the text and sharing the exciting news that my maternity leave was approved, I got the already widely talked-about email letting me know that I was among the 12k terminated,” a Google program manager wrote on LinkedIn. “Easy target? Maybe.”

Another longtime employee, Kate Howells, posted that she gave birth just before receiving notice.

“On 1/20/23 at 7:05 am while in the hospital bed holding my hours-old newborn I learned that I was part of the #thegolden12K of Googlers who had been laid off,” Howells wrote. “I was a Googler for 9.5 years.”

A Google spokesperson told CNBC in an email that departing employees are eligible for stock and salary for their “60+ day notice period” and reiterated Pichai’s memo regarding 16 weeks of pay and an additional two weeks for every year of service.

The company didn’t address whether it would cover full medical leave on top of the severance payout.

“As we shared with impacted employees, we benchmarked this package to ensure the care we’re providing compares favorably with other companies, including for Googlers on leave,” the spokesperson said.

‘Good faith effort’

Multiple people whose jobs were terminated told CNBC their access to doctors and specialists through Google’s on-site One Medical facility was also cut off the day of the layoff notification. That disrupted treatment that was ongoing at the time, they said. A laid-off senior software engineer said he lost in-person access to his primary care doctor of three years.

Some ex-employees said they were given the option to continue seeing their doctors virtually but were otherwise advised to find replacements.

The group of laid-off workers highlighted the fact that this is taking place during Women’s History Month.

“Google is currently showcasing its workplace commitments and its participation in Women’s History Month through various products and services campaigns,” the group wrote in an email sent to Google executives. “We agree with you: it’s very important to recognize the hardships that still disproportionately affect women inside the workplace.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at a panel at the CEO Summit of the Americas hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 09, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

They said the company still has the opportunity to fix the problem.

“We respectfully request a good faith effort to honor the terms of our original parental and/or disability leave arrangements for all leaves that were approved as of January 20, 2023,” the group wrote.

At an informal event held by Google alumni group Xoogler in January, more than 50 laid-off workers gathered for mutual comfort and to seek answers. Kushagra Shrivastava, one of the organizers, recalled to CNBC the story of a mother who spoke up at the event to say she “was laid off while trying to care for a three-month old, and that was pretty tough to hear.”

It’s not just new mothers and those who are expecting soon who find themselves in a bind. The email to management also mentions the challenges faced by pregnant women who hadn’t yet formally requested a leave of absence and as a result, “will have an even longer road to securing new roles given the points they’re at in their pregnancies.”

At a new employer, those women would have to wait a year for the benefits from the Family and Medical Leave Act to kick in, “rendering it impossible for expectant and new mothers to leverage the FMLA they paid for to the detriment of their health and their baby’s wellbeing,” the group said. “Parental and medical leaves present an extraordinary burden on laid off Googlers’ ability to seek immediate new employment.”

The group’s letter pointed to companies like Amazon, which have said they would pay out the remainder of leave time in addition to severance packages.

Employees who tried to communicate with Google about the matter said they’d lost access to the internal system and could only fill out a form on a separate short-term portal. Some said they received responses a week after their inquiry, and each said they got what appeared to be an automated response, reiterating their employment end date or directing them to reapply for another position.

In an email to CNBC, the group of laid-off workers said Pichai was showing much greater concern for the company’s effort to keep apace in the battle for artificial intelligence supremacy than it was for taking care of longtime staffers who were in need of help.

“When Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced layoffs, he mentioned the company’s commitment to AI three times, but never once mentioned Google’s commitment to accessibility,” the group wrote. “This matters deeply because accessibility is part of the company’s actual mission. This clearly calls for a re-centering of priorities. It’s unsurprising that through a bungled demo just days after laying us off, Google showed they’re indeed not leading the way in AI. However, the good news is that an incredible opportunity remains to be an accessibility leader in the treatment of laid off workers.”

Quality time with baby

The group also reminded Google leadership about the significance of parental benefits and the company’s intention when it updated its plan. In particular, it said parents should have quality time their newborns without the stress of having to think about work and rush back to the office.

“Google formed their parental benefits with this in mind, emphasizing the need for parents to have time off to recover and bond with their new babies,” the email to execs said.

Some said they’re hopeful this issue is just an oversight and executives will take corrective action because the company promised them a certain amount of fully paid time off.

“Granting a payout of full remaining leave days for scheduled and upcoming leaves would be notably in line with Google’s current policy of payment for accumulated employee vacation time (PTO) in this round of layoffs,” the letter said.

The group referenced Google’s original core value, “Don’t be evil,” in asking for leadership to respond promptly.

“We invite the C-Suite to iterate with us like Googlers do,” the laid-off workers wrote to CNBC. “To come up with something more accessible and in line with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workplace commitments the company touts.”

WATCH: Clockwise Capital’s James Cakmak on Alphabet lay offs

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Google expanded its parental leave to six months. Who’ll be next?

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Attendees sits in front of a Google logo during Google I/O Conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, California June 28, 2012.

Image: Reuters/Stephen Lam


Sarah Todd

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Much has been written about the difficulties faced by workers in the “sandwich generation”—people at a stage of life where they’re raising young kids while simultaneously caring for their own aging parents. 

Alphabet’s Google has responded with a suite of new leave policies aimed at expanding the amount of time its staff can take off work for a variety of reasons.

The company announced Thursday that parents who give birth will receive 24 weeks of leave, up from 18 weeks previously. All parents will be eligible for 18 weeks of leave, up from 12 weeks, and any employee will be able to take 8 weeks of caregiver’s leave (up from 4 weeks). In addition, Google will offer a minimum of 20 days’ vacation, up from 15. 

“More than 40% of our employees are in the sandwich generation,” Google’s chief people officer Fiona Cicconi said in a statement. “We want to support employees at every stage of their lives.” 

How do Google’s leave policies stack up?

Google’s new leave policies place it near the top of the pack compared with many other tech companies. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, offers four months of paid parental leave to all new parents. 

Microsoft offers 20 weeks for birth parents and 12 weeks for all other new parents. Amazon gives six weeks’ paid parental leave for all parents; for birth parents, it also offers 4 weeks pre-partum leave and 10 weeks post-partum leave. 

Netflix, by contrast, offers a full year of parental leave, far outdoing Google. 

Regardless, Google’s move is noteworthy because other tech companies may now feel pressured to increase their leave policies to better compete for talent. 

Google has a history of setting policy trends in the tech industry and beyond. During the pandemic, for example, it was the first Big Tech company to issue a vaccine mandate for employees; it was one of the first major companies to delay office reopenings; and it was among the first big companies to tell employees to start working remotely back in March 2020.

More broadly, the company’s famously lavish perks (from free meals and yoga classes to subsidized massages), generous benefits, and creative culture have inspired many other companies to follow its lead. While the era of nap pods and in-office bowling alleys as a key way to attract talent may be over, policies aimed at helping employees to attain better work-life balance are arguably more attractive than ever. 

What is best policy for paid time off?

Google’s policies aren’t the only way to address the various needs of workers. As an alternative to offering a variety of prescribed leave policies, some have made the case for instating universal or “open” leave policies. These can be used for everything from caring for a baby or eldercare to vacation, personal illness, and bereavement. 

Either way, Google’s new policies represent a welcome acknowledgment that lots of people need time away from their jobs for all sorts of reasons—and in a post-pandemic world, companies’ old leave policies may no longer cut it.

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Employee goes on maternity leave

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Oleg Varushkin

The Labor Code protects the rights of a pregnant employee: the employer is prohibited from firing her. At the eighth month of pregnancy, she goes on maternity leave. It lasts 140 days: 70 before delivery and 70 after. Maternity leave is replaced by leave to care for a child – usually up to a year and a half. All this time, the employee receives benefits from the FSS. From 2021, in all regions, the fund transfers benefits directly to employees.


  • Take maternity leave

  • From 2021, only the FSS pays benefits

  • What benefits

  • When the FSS refuses to pay benefits

Take maternity leave

Maternity leave

The employer receives documents from the employee:

1. Sick leave from the antenatal clinic. Remember that along with paper sick-lists, there are electronic ones. They work with them in the personal account of the FSS.

2. Application for maternity leave in any form. It is not necessary to take it before the start of the holiday. You can also after, within 6 months.

Leave lasts 140 days: 70 before the birth and 70 after. Sometimes employees do not apply for vacation and work until the last minute. This is normal: vacation is a right, not a duty. They don’t pay benefits only for days of work.

Non-standard situations from the order of the Ministry of Health and Social Development No. 1089N:

– In case of multiple pregnancy, leave is taken at week 28 for 194 days: 84 before delivery and 110 after.

– When a child is adopted, leave is taken from the day of adoption. It ends when the child is 70 days old. If the child is more than 70 days old at the time of adoption, maternity leave is not allowed.

– In case of complicated pregnancy, an additional 16 days are taken. In this case, the employee writes an application to extend the vacation.

When you find out the duration of the vacation, fill out the documents:

— Sign the order to grant the vacation.

– Fill out a personal card (example).

— Fill out the time sheet.

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Child care leave up to 1.5 years

The employee herself decides whether to take a vacation or go to work. Instead, any working relative can go on parental leave: the child’s father, grandmother, grandfather, aunt or uncle. Vacation can be alternated as you like: for example, mom sits with the child for a month, then dad for a month.

For vacations up to one and a half years, the allowance is 40% of the average salary for the previous two years.

To apply for a vacation, ask an employee for documents:

– Statement.

– Birth certificate of the child.

– A certificate from the husband’s work that he is not on a similar vacation.

Issue the vacation order again, fill in the personal card and time sheet.

Allowed to combine parental leave and work. There are two options here: part-time or part-time. For example, an employee may work 7 hours a day or 4 days a week. The main thing is that the rate should be incomplete. Otherwise, there is a risk that the FSS will refuse to make the payment.

From 2021, only the Social Insurance Fund pays benefits

In 2021, this item is no longer relevant, but just in case, we will explain, in case some old articles on other sites confuse you. Previously, there were two schemes:

  1. The entrepreneur pays the employee, and then reduces insurance premiums to the Social Insurance Fund.
  2. FSS pays the employee directly.

The second scheme is a “pilot project”, which over time captured more and more regions. In 2021, it was adopted throughout the country, so the employer does not need to pay benefits.

What benefits

Maternity benefit

The amount of the benefit is 100% of the average salary. For calculation, two calendar years are taken before the start of the vacation. For example, in 2021, salaries for 2019 and 2020 are taken into account. The most convenient way is not to calculate in Excel, but to use a special calculator.

The allowance is granted within 10 days after receiving the documents from the employee. They are paid on the next salary day after the appointment.

At Romashka LLC, salaries are paid on the 11th and 25th of each month. Anna went on maternity leave on October 10. The director calculated her allowance on October 15 and paid it on October 25. He did everything right.

One-time payment at the birth of a child

From February 1, 2022, the allowance is 20,472.77 rubles. Some regions increase the payment at the expense of their budget.

Monthly allowance for caring for a child up to 1.5 years old

The allowance is paid monthly: from the first day of parental leave until the moment when the child turns 1.5 years old.

The amount of the benefit is 40% of the average salary. For calculation, the salary for the previous two calendar years is taken. For the first child, the minimum payment after June 1, 2022 is 7,677.81 per month, the maximum is 31,282.82 rubles per month. Calculate the allowance in a special calculator so as not to make a mistake.

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When the FSS refuses to pay benefits

Sometimes the FSS has the right to refuse and not pay employee benefits. This happens for several reasons:

  1. Errors in documents: certificate of earnings, certificate of incapacity for work, application for maternity leave.
  2. Fictitious employment relationship. When an employee is hired in the late stages of pregnancy, and she immediately goes on maternity leave, this looks suspicious for the FSS.
  3. Inflated salary. If a female lawyer receives a salary of ₽100,000, and her lawyer colleagues receive ₽20,000, this is also suspicious.
  4. An employee receives benefits and works at the same time. The working day is full or only formally reduced, less than an hour a day.

If the Foundation employees find a violation, they will ask for explanations and documents.

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Is parental leave included in the length of service for early retirement \ Acts, samples, forms, contracts \ Consultant Plus

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A selection of the most important documents upon request Is parental leave included in the length of service for early retirement (legal acts, forms, articles, expert advice and much more). maternity leave

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    Definition of the Eighth Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction dated 12/15/2022 N 88-24448/2022
    Dispute category: Pension provision.
    Claims of the applicant: 1) On invalidation of the decision to refuse to grant a pension; 2) On imposing the obligation to appoint a pension; 3) On the inclusion of periods of work in the teaching experience.
    Circumstances: The plaintiff applied to the defendant for an early old-age pension, but she was denied due to the lack of the required teaching experience, while the periods of her work as an educator were not included in the plaintiff’s length of service.
    Decision: 1) Denied; 2) The case is sent for a new trial; 3) Satisfied in part.
    Procedural issues: 1) On reimbursement of expenses for paying for the services of a representative – satisfied in part; 2) On the reimbursement of expenses for the payment of the state fee – satisfied. As follows from the explanations contained in clause 27 of the Decree of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dated December 11, 2012 N 30 “On the practice of court consideration of cases related to the implementation of the rights of citizens to labor pensions” when resolving disputes that have arisen in connection with the inclusion of women in the length of service, giving the right to early appointment of an old-age labor pension, the period of their being on parental leave, the courts should proceed from the fact that if the specified period took place before October 6 1992 (the time of entry into force of the Law of the Russian Federation of September 25, 1992 N 3543-1, with the adoption of which the period of being on parental leave is not included in the special length of service in the case of a pension on preferential terms), then he is subject to inclusion in the length of service giving the right to early appointment of an old-age labor pension.