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Severance packages for Google staff might not be all they seem

Attractive details add up to large lump sums but certain conditions dampen down benefit for some

If the reports of severance packages coming out of Google Ireland are accurate, it will go a long way to smoothing the ruffled feathers caused by the uncertainty of the past few weeks.

Sources say that staff will be getting six weeks of pay for every year of service with the company, in excess of the two weeks of statutory redundancy payments employees are entitled to. Given the high level of pay there, it seems a reasonable settlement, and one that might have pushed a number of long-term Googlers into leaving the company voluntarily, had they been given the chance.

However, according to the Financial Services Union, which is representing some of the tech giant’s workers, the powers that be have decided to forgo asking for volunteers and opted for compulsory redundancies instead. It seems like a strange, contentious way to approach the process, given that there are bound to be people just waiting for the chance to head for the exit.

The reported packages have also given rise to different calculations about the value of walking away from Google, with some estimating that long-term Googlers could get as much as €300,000. But the truth is that the number of people who will leave with that sort of cushion behind them is small.


That figure is capped at 24 months of pay. Only those on the higher salaries – around €150,000, with 16 years of service behind them – would qualify for payments that high. And redundancy payments are calculated on base rate of pay, rather than including equity or other benefits, which would have sweetened the deal for staff when they were initially joining the company.

Then there is the issue of finding another job in a tech industry in a state of flux. While there are opportunities to be had out there, for some it will mean an adjustment in their expectations on pay and other benefits.