Former Google S’pore Employees Claimed Layoff Was Done Via Email

Getting laid off from your job is probably one of the worst things that can happen to you.

Bills, mortgages, finances, the stress of finding a new job—all these pile up.

But if you think that things can’t get any worse, think again.

The experience of being retrenched from your job can be worsened if it is done in an unfeeling, uncaring manner.

Just ask anyone in the group of employees recently laid off by Google Singapore.

About 190 Employees Are Laid off by Google Singapore

Uncertainty has been filling the air in Google offices around the world ever since the CEO of Google and Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Mr Sundar Pichai, wrote a public blog post regarding trimming the global workforce.

The blog post on 20 January 2023 is a reproduction of emails sent to Google employees and references that “approximately 12,000 roles” will be cut in Google. This tech giant’s layoff carries on the trend of retrenchment and layoff exercises affecting the tech industry lately.

The layoffs finally arrived on Singapore’s shores roughly a month later.

On 16 February 2023, Google Singapore laid off about 190 staff members though the exact number of employees affected was not disclosed.

This amounted to about 6% of Google Singapore’s local workforce of approximately 3,000 employees.

Google Singapore is the headquarters for Google’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region and has its physical office at Mapletree Business City in Alexandra.

The affected former staff were from several corporate divisions, including trust and safety, legal, and finance, and some of those retrenched were also working on well-known tech products such as Google Cloud, Google Pay and Google Analytics.

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The News Was Apparently Communicated Over Email

If you’re expecting the harsh blow of retrenchment to be delivered in a gentle face-to-face manner to soften its ground-shaking impact, you are definitely not suited to work in the human resources department at Google.

According to The Straits Times, a former employee who was part of the job cuts reported that the retrenchment notification was made via email.

To add insult to injury, he was only made aware of his new joblessness the morning after the retrenchment emails were sent out because he was fast asleep at the time the emails were sent.

An absolute nightmare when you are awake if you ask us.

The employee shared that he felt “disbelief” as he thought that the retrenchments would not affect him.

Google employees also had no inkling about the rationale or basis” on which retrenchments would be based. This employee in question was a long-term employee of Google.

The silver lining in this situation is that the severance package was “more or less the same” as that offered to staff in the United States, potentially even “slightly better in quantum”.

According to Mr Pichai, affected staff in the United States would receive a suite of benefits, including 16 weeks of salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, accelerated vesting of some stocks, 2022 bonuses, paid remaining vacation time and payment in lieu of the full notification period.

Not too bad a deal if this sum of money can tide you over the time it takes you to upskill for another job.

In the meantime, recruiters and employers looking for ex-Google workers may be rejoicing as the market has recently come into a handful of such candidates.

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Featured Image: / Benny Marty