Google reportedly tells staff they will be fired if they flout vaccination rules

Employees who don’t comply with vaccine rules will be placed on ‘paid administrative leave’

Vishwam Sankaran
Wednesday 15 December 2021 14:27
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Google has reportedly said in an internal memo that if its employees flout the company’s Covid-19 vaccination policy, they would lose pay and eventually be fired.

The memo provided Google staff time till 3 December to declare and upload documentation proof showing their vaccination status, or to apply for a medical or religious exemption, according to CNBC.

This internal document reportedly said that the company would start contacting employees who had not uploaded their status within this stipulated timeline.

Employees not complying with these rules by 18 January would be placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days, after which they may be sent on “unpaid personal leave” for up to six months and then terminated.

“As we’ve stated before, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running,” Google spokesperson Lora Lee Erickson told The Verge.

“We’re committed to doing everything possible to help our employees who can get vaccinated do so, and firmly stand behind our vaccination policy,” Ms Erickson added.

While several tech companies have announced plans during the pandemic to restructure their return-to-office plans for their employees and prepare for a flexible future, where some employees get to almost permanently work from home, Google said earlier this year that its staff would eventually be asked to come in to office three days a week at some point beginning in 2022.

Meanwhile, US president Joe Biden’s administration also ordered US companies with 100 or more employees to ensure staff are fully vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19 by 18 January — a move on which a federal court issued a stay, citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues”.

Google’s new internal memo reportedly said that nearly all roles at the company in the US would fall within the scope of the executive order.

“Anyone entering a Google building must be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation that allows them to work or come onsite,” the company said.

The memo reportedly noted that employees placed on unpaid personal leave will be able to keep their benefits for the first 92 days but if they still are still non-compliant with the vaccine rules after six months, “their employment with Google will end”.

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