Google 'do evil' on their employees with children

Mikey 8 comments
Google 'do evil' on their employees with children

For a company that allegedly lives by a 'do no evil' mantra, Google have dropped the ball big time, and their employees with children are at the receiving end.

If you didn't already know, Google provides in-house day care for their employees. At $US1,425 a month per month it's not free but it's certainly convenient to have your kids near-by.

But now Google reckons parents have had it too easy, and plan to increase the day-care charges that would see parents with 2 kids currently paying $US33,000 per year now pay more than $US57,000 per year.

When Google held a series of focus groups with parents when the news was announced, some of them openly cried at the news, and it was a general consensus that most of them would have to dump Google's day-care services and search for a cheaper alternative.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin (who is without children) has absolutely no sympathy, saying he was tired of the employees who felt entitled to perks. It should be noted that a Google representative (damage control) has allegedly outright lied and said that Brin never made those comments, although several people in the meeting claim he certainly did.

Part of the problem which may have caused all of this to happen is Google's eagerness to help the employees with the day-care in the first place. Although having their heart in the right place, it sounds like Google may have been too enthusiastic, forking out top dollars for top facilities.

Google's first day care, Kinderplex, had low teacher-child ratios, clean facilities and the teachers were top notch. Their second facility, The Woods, was so good that it made Kinderplex look bad. This was all happening when Google was relatively young and had around 200 day-care spots. Now with over 19,000 employees several of which are starting families, suddenly there is a waiting list that could see your kids sitting on the bench for 2 years before getting a spot, which couldn't be afforded anyway.

Eventually some bean counter at Google realised that the company was subsidising each child at the cost of around $US37,000 per year, which is extremely high compared to other companies that do subsidise around 12,000.

So the bottom line is, Google are only thinking about the bottom line. Instead of looking for a way to cover the cost of the high subsidy, and let's face it - Google know business and could easily make this happen - they reckon the only way is to bloat the price of admission and alienate their employees at the same time.

That, IMHO, is far from evil.


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Monday 7th July 2008 | 05:24 PM

so when these parents need to find alternative child care will they use google to find one?

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Monday 7th July 2008 | 09:42 PM

In this case I feel we have to be fair. Child care workers are underpaid. I would want to know if this increase in cost will reflect an increase in pay for the child care workers? The next thing I would consider is, how well does Google pay its employees? If every one, (the employees and the day care workers) are being fairly compensated- then I would simply consider this story a Google bashing article.

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Monday 7th July 2008 | 09:50 PM response to this comment by Denise. None the less, there's nothing fair about a price rise that steep. If you under valued your services for a long time - that's your fault. If you want to raise prices, you generally need to do it over time. Anyone who triples prices overnight loses customers. And in this case, staff.

As for employees who feel like they deserve perks.... I wonder how many of those "selfish bastard" employees did unpaid overtime, worked weekends and gave extra to Google.

A lot of people in management are utter tools. This Sergey Brin sounds like one of them.

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The Movie Whore

Tuesday 8th July 2008 | 12:37 AM

I am a stay at home dad because if I was working my check would be going to child care and nothing else. There is an underapprecation for the cost to paycheck ratio that workers go through just to be able to show up at work. It was actually cost beneficial for me to stay home. It was not until I had kids of my own that understood just how badly the childcare system screws the parents as well. Since both parents seemingly need to work the kids have to go somewhere. You just have to pony up the costs.

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Tuesday 8th July 2008 | 06:13 AM

I pay around 15k a year for one child in child care with around 40-50% subsidised by Wayne Swan (thanks again Wayne, oh and Kevin too, I suppose you deserve an honorable mention too).

I came into this job with $30k less than my previous job, simply because the more you earn in this country, the less the govt subsidises your living.

Not knowing much about the $$ that a google employee might make, I can't really make judgment, but if it is anything like what I would assume it is (around an USD$80k average a year), then the old figure was pretty close but the company is clearly spending too much on the project.

It could just be me working on limited sleep (insomnia hooray!) but couldn't they just build a less sophisticated centre, hire actual child care workers, instead of importing refined english nannys and continue to subsidise, but at a more manageable percentage. I know I would pay more to have my kids onsite (then again, I work in a major hospital), and I'm sure most parents would concur.

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Tuesday 8th July 2008 | 06:15 AM response to this comment by The Movie Whore. Totally respect that man, if my family could live without my income (I deserve a plug every now and then) I would be doing the same. I can't immagine a better time than being able to be with my little girl all day!

More power too ya!

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Tuesday 8th July 2008 | 06:25 AM response to this comment by Rodney. I think that's the point Brin missed. You can't lure in people and then hike the price to nearly double. Especially as finding places in day care isn't always that easy and also because a lot of these parents would have given up spots closer to home or cheaper elsewhere to use Googles facilities.

This is the employers fault but they are passing the cost to fix their own mistake onto the employees. Wrong wrong wrong Google.

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Tuesday 8th July 2008 | 11:36 AM

I know its a shitty situation but the other thing google could do is half the quality of the daycare.

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