Google May Reduce Salaries Of Work-From-Home Staff
USA – Search giant Google has created a pay calculator, through which staff can see how their income would be affected if they work from home (WFH) or transfer to another office, reported BBC on Thursday (12 August, SGT).
For instance, a Google staff living in Stamford, Connecticut, which is about 60 minutes by train from New York, would have their wage slashed by 15 percent, while those in Seattle, Boston and San Francisco could get cuts ranging from 5 percent to 10 percent.
“Our new Work Location Tool was developed to help employees make informed decisions about which city or state they work from and any impact on compensation if they choose to relocate or work remotely,” a Google representative told BBC.
However, based on initial observations some workers who intend to telecommute permanently may get their salaries reduced. Some employees who are telecommuting, particularly those far from the physical office where they were working before the COVID-19 pandemic could also have their salary slashed without transferring to another residence.
Still, the spokesperson insisted that Google’s “compensation packages have always been determined by location, and we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from.”
Google also clarified that it won’t alter the income of a staff if they will work remotely full-time from the same city.
But a Google staff, who works in Seattle but whose commuting time takes 2 hours, informed Reuters that the Work Location Tool shows that his or her salary would be cut by 10 percent if he or she opts to work remotely full-time.
“It’s as high a pay cut as I got for my most recent promotion,” complained the staff. “I didn’t do all that hard work to get promoted (and) then take a pay cut.”
Jake Rosenfeld, a Sociology Professor at Washington University, commented that Google’s Work Location Tool is worrisome, and urged the search giant to scrap its plan.
“Google has paid these workers at 100 percent of their prior wage. So, it’s not like they can’t afford to pay their workers who choose to work remotely the same that they are used to receiving.”
In the UK, Google is unlikely to reduce the income of its workers based on the Work Location Tool as the law prohibits companies from unilaterally changing the terms of employment contract, such as the agreed salary of employees.