Google has now pledged to help its employees pay off student debt, reports indicate. That is, as long as you live and work in the US, the company's head of global benefits John Casey says. And that comes down to the 'size of student debt' in the region, which Mr. Casey describes as a "crisis."
Of course, Google isn't just going to pay off student loans for any employee who walks in and asks for one either. Instead, it is going to match student loan payments made by its workers. That's up to $2,500 per year.
The average debt for US students stands at around $30,000, according to a US News and World Report. So that's a significant sum. For those who work at Google, the figure would knock out half the average debt in 6-years.
When does this program start and who's eligible for student debt help from Google?
Now, the program will reportedly start up in the US in January. So Google workers who have student debt will want to take notice. But again, that's only for workers in the US due to the disparity between that type of debt in the nation as compared to other countries. And it won't apply to everybody who works for Google. Just those that work at Google.
More succinctly, the benefit can be picked up by any full-time employee. But not any of the venders, temps, and contractors. Or anybody who might be working part-time at Google. The exclusivity of the program leaves out an estimated 130,000 workers who indirectly work for the search giant.
There's also no guarantee the plan will be taken globally, although Mr. Casey does imply as much. According to the executive, the company just wants to "start" in the US.
This perk stacks on others as Google looks to retain and grow its workforce
Over the past several years, Google has repeatedly faced down a wide assortment of scrutiny over its handling of employee affairs. Ensuing reports have also indicated that there have been retaliatory actions taken by some in management positions in response to the outcry from the workforce. Particularly against those who have led the charge on that front.
Google has since made concessions and changes in a bid to stave off further problems. But that doesn't mean everything's perfect just yet. And, with the ongoing pandemic — especially in the US — wreaking havoc on its workforce as well, the search giant is likely hoping its new perk will bring in new talent.