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Google employee benefits continue after death

Widows and widowers of Google employees will get half their partners' salaries for 10 years, the search goliath has revealed.

Working at Google comes with its share of perks, but here's one you might never have thought of. It seems the benefits don't stop just because your life has.

"This might sound ridiculous," Google's chief people officer Laszlo Bock told Forbes in an interview this week, "but we've announced death benefits at Google."

So if a Google employee passes away while still employed by the search behemoth, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will see 50 per cent of their salary every year for the next decade. There's not even a tenure requirement, so you qualify regardless of how long you've been working for the Big G.

"One of the things we realised recently was that one of the harshest but most reliable facts of life is that at some point most of us will be confronted with the death of our partners," Bock said. "And it's a horrible, difficult time no matter what, and every time we went through this as a company we tried to find ways to help the surviving spouse of a Googler who's passed away."

The policy was brought in last year, but this is the first time it's been made public. As well as half the spouse's wage every year, any children will get $1,000 (£640) per month until they're 19 (or 23 if they're studying full-time).

"Obviously there's no benefit to Google," Bock said. "But it's important to the company to help our families through this horrific if inevitable life event."

Bock says it's more a question of ethics than money or improved employee performance. "When it comes down to it, it's better to work for a company who cares about you than a company who doesn't," he said. "And from a company standpoint, that makes it better to care than not to care."

But it's not all roses at Google. This week it was fined a record amount for using cookies to monitor online behaviour.

What do you think of Google? Is it still sticking to its old "Don't be evil" motto? Let me know below, or on Facebook.