Amazon warehouse employees who want to stay home to avoid COVID-19 will soon be required to make a formal request in that regard. The internet retailer according to report is asking staff staying home to either report to their shifts starting May 1st or else request a leave of absence.
While responding to a Bloomberg query, a spokesperson for Amazon clarified that the leave option would be available to both part- and full-time workers, while a company blog post shows that leave would be granted for a range of COVID-19 circumstances like “high-risk individuals” (including family members) and school closures.
Amazon also tried to reassure its employees and the public that the working conditions would be better while assuring that it was conducting temperature checks and that it hoped to start directly testing some employees for COVID-19 “soon.” It was also extending a $2 increase to hourly base pay as compensation through May 16th.
The move shows how dedicated the internet giant is in positioning its workers during this tough time. Amazon wants to avoid having to deal with the shortage of staff during this time when the coronavirus pandemic has increased online demand of goods, although it’s also facing a backlash from workers concerned it isn’t doing enough to protect them against the new coronavirus.
The new approach to leave theoretically addresses both sides, although it may leave some uncomfortable as they’re pressured to either take the risk of infection at work (however large or small it might be) or find a new job in an extremely unforgiving market.