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Google sets up fund to offer paid sick leave to contractors and temp workers who can't work due to COVID-19 symptoms or quarantines

REUTERS/Brandon Wade/File PhotoSundar Pichai is now CEO of both Google and its parent company Alphabet.

Google has set up a fund that will enable all contract and temporary workers globally to take paid sick leave should they need to due potential coronavirus symptoms or quarantines, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday.

“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,” the post read.

Google relies on approximately 120,000 temps and contractors on top of its 100,000 full-time employees, and not all of them have paid sick leave currently. Google’s post seemed to indicate that the fund would cover expenses for those not already able to take sick leave under current employment arrangements.

Following Microsoft’s lead, Google announced last week that it would continue to pay hourly staff whose hours may be affected by remote work policies. Google said its new fund will also go towards covering that commitment.

Earlier Tuesday, Google told employees based in its North America offices – more than 100,000 employees and the bulk of its workforce – to work remotely due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The company had previously instructed employees at its offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Dublin, and to avoid coming into the office as the virus continues to spread worldwide.

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