Google (GOOG) has rescinded job offers to more than 2,000 contract and temporary workers preparing to join the tech giant.
The latest cost-cutting measures come as the £810bn ($1tn) company claims its advertising revenue has dropped "significantly" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the workers Google was about to take on had left full-time jobs to join the firm, and now find themselves unemployed, Business Insider reports.
In some cases this has delayed their eligibility to receive unemployment benefit because they left their last job voluntarily.
"We're slowing our pace of hiring and investment, and are not bringing on as many new starters as we had planned at the beginning of the year," Google told contracting agencies, according to The New York Times.
The company had previously announced plans to slow hiring in 2020 and implement hiring freezes on non-essential areas of the business to offset COVID-19 losses.
More than half of Google's 253,000 workforce is made of contractors and temp workers, employed through external agencies.
These employees do not have access to the same benefits as full-time staff such as childcare and employment protection.
In April, Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet, told employees via a memo that the company would be slowing the pace of hiring with the exception of several strategic areas.
At the time the company confirmed Google intended to honour its agreement with people already hired who had not yet started. But it appears this did not apply to contractors or temporary workers.
Despite claiming to have a "sudden slowdown" in advertising, the company made £5.5bn profit in the first three months of 2020.