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Google employees get one day off as ‘collective wellbeing’ holiday during COVID-19 pandemic

The extra day off, given by Google, will turn the Labor Day holiday into a four-day weekend.

September 04, 2020 / 06:56 PM IST

Google is giving employees an additional holiday ahead of Labor Day. The idea is to avoid employee burnout amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The search engine giant is marking September 4 as a one-time paid holiday to preserve 'collective wellbeing' as the pandemic enters its seventh month, reported CNBC citing company documents.

The extra day off will turn the Labor Day holiday into a four-day weekend. Labour Day is celebrated on September 7 in the United States.

The additional holiday is applied to full-time employees and interns. However, workers who are considered temporary or are vendors or contractors do not qualify for this day off, as per the report.

“We strongly encourage you to take this day off and managers should actively support their team to reprioritize work commitments in order to do so,” an internal forum for employees reportedly said.

The forum further said if a manager identifies an “urgent business-critical need” that requires an employee to work at the last minute, then he or she should take the next available working day off instead, said the report.

The move comes as executives try to find ways to support employees who will be working remotely until at least mid-2021 due to the ongoing contagion, the report suggested.

This extra holiday is tied to the pandemic and will not be added to the annual calendar, said the reporting citing Google’s note.

“This extra holiday is specific to 2020 to support Googlers’ wellbeing in light of COVID-19. Please take the time to do whatever you need for yourselves,” the company reportedly said.

However, some employees said they’d prefer to take off another day, said the report citing an internal message change. But the company said that is not an option, added the report.

Earlier, Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai had asked employees to take a day off on May 22, to address work-from-home-related burnout during the coronavirus pandemic.

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first published: Sep 4, 2020 09:51 am