In a surprising twist on the every-day company health benefits, Google revealed this week that its employees' legendary advantages extend beyond the grave.
As reported by Forbes during an interview with the company's chief people officer, Laszlo Bock, if a US Googler – the oldest of whom is currently 83 – dies while employed at the search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a cheque for 50 per cent of their annual salary every year for 10 years. There is no timeframe requirement to earn the morbid perk.
(Ed. note: Forbes referred specifically to the benefit being made available to "US Googler[s]," reporting that "most" of company's 34,000 employees qualified for the death benefits. It is unclear if the search giant's UK and worldwide employees qualify for the programme at this stage, and which US workers fall outside of the scheme. International Googlers will no doubt be making for their HR department post haste to ensure there isn't any unfair favouritism at play - it is a potential scandal in the making if Google only privileges its Stateside staff.)
Bock told Forbes that one of the hardest yet most reliable facts of life is the death of a partner - a horrible, difficult time.
"Every time we went through this as a company we tried to find ways to help the surviving spouse of the Googler who'd passed away," he said.
So, in 2011, Bock, a former General Electric employee, implemented the policy, which also provides surviving spouses with the immediate granting of all vested stocks. Children, meanwhile, receive a $1,000 monthly payment (£640pcm) from the company until they turn 19, or 23 for full-time students.
"Obviously there's no benefit to Google," Bock added.
Many of Google's other perks – free haircuts, gourmet food, on-site doctors, high-tech toilets – are in place to foster employee happiness and productivity.
"It's important to the company to help our families through this horrific if inevitable life event," Bock said.