On Tuesday (21st October 2020), Amazon, the American multinational technology company informed its employees that those employees whose work can be done from their homes can do so until June 2021 and extended the timeline on return to the office due to the still spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, the employees were allowed to work from home until January 2021.
An Amazon spokeswoman in an emailed statement said that” Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until June 30, 2021” and also clarified that this guidance is applicable globally. In addition to this, Amazon has also announced to give a one-time "Thank You bonus" for front-line employees and partners that amount to a sum of $500 million. Employees will receive this amount by June 2020. The company will also invest $4 billion in COVID-related initiatives in the second quarter of the year.
It also said that if an employee is diagnosed with Covid-19 they will receive up to two weeks of paid time off and this will be in addition to their other paid and unpaid time off options. Amazon is also offering extra time off with full pay for those diagnosed with COVID-19. This statement comes after the e-commerce giant admitted that over 19,000of its US frontline workers contracted the coronavirus this year. In recent months, the staff of Amazon and the elected officials and unions gave a statement stating that Amazon had put employees’ health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic. A Spokeswoman from the e-commerce giant said on Tuesday that “We have invested significant funds and resources to keep those who choose to come to the office safe through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and by providing face coverings and hand sanitizer.” Not only Amazon, but several other giants have taken similar steps like in the month of May, Twitter Inc became the first major tech company to allow employees who can work remotely to do so indefinitely. Many other tech giants like Microsoft Corporation have extended the work from home option for their employees. Microsoft Corporation said earlier in October that it will allow most employees to work remotely for up to half their weekly working hours. Even social media giant Facebook Inc had said it would allow its employees to work from home till July next year. Google, the multinational technology company has also joined these companies and extended the remote working period for employees who do not need to be in the office till June.