Google
Google
(Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP)

San Francisco: In view of the global spread of the novel coronavirus, Google is establishing a COVID-19 fund that will enable all its temporary staff and vendors worldwide to take paid sick leave if they have potential symptoms of the disease, or cannot come into work because they are quarantined.

"Working with our partners, this fund will mean that members of our extended workforce will be compensated for their normal working hours if they can't come into work for these reasons," Adrienne Crowther, Director, Workplace Services at Google, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Google said it is carefully monitoring the situation and will continue to assess any adjustments needed over the coming months.

As COVID-19 spreads, Google has advised all of its North American employees to work from home if their roles allow until at least April 10.

"All offices in North America are now on recommended work from home status, if roles allow," CNBC quoted a Google spokesperson as saying on Tuesday.

Google has over 100,000 employees based in North America.

The work from home recommendations were earlier given only to employees in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dublin, and Seattle.

The search engine giant last week committed that members of its extended workforce who are affected by reduced office schedules (such as closed cafes resulting from offices moving to work-from-home arrangements) will be compensated for the time they would have worked.

The coronavirus epidemic has spread to over 100 countries, infecting more than 1,18,000 people and killing over 4,200.

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