July 16 (UPI) — Amazon announced Wednesday that it will extend its policy on home-based work until January 2021 and urge all employees to cancel non-essential business travel before the end of the year,media reported.
Amazon’s decision is in line with Facebook and Google, both of which have announced plans to extend their home-based work policies until the end of 2020, while Twitter allows employees to work from home “forever.” Earlier reports said Microsoft plans to reopen its offices in stages starting in October, while Apple is also considering closing the office until the end of the year.
“We continue to put the health of our employees first and follow the guidance of the local government,” an Amazon spokesman said in a statement. We welcome those who can work effectively from home to continue until January 8. We invest a lot of money and resources to protect those who choose to work in the office by keeping them at a safe distance, deep cleaning and disinfection, temperature checks, and the provision of masks and hand sanitizers. “
However, the home-based work policy applies only to Amazon employees. The company has a large number of warehouse employees, as well as other hourly workers and contractors who had to work urgently during the outbreak. The company changed its unpaid leave policy in April to require all distribution center employees to resume work on May 1 unless their request for extended unpaid leave is approved.
Until then, most employees continued to work in Amazon warehouses, but those who wanted to stay at home because of health concerns were allowed to continue. Employees diagnosed with the new crown virus, or who are in close contact with them, are still eligible for two weeks of paid leave. The company said it had 840,400 full-time and part-time employees at the end of last quarter.
Despite the benefits and Amazon’s offer of $4 billion to fight the new crown outbreak, the company has come under fire in the past few months for mishandling the storage space outbreak. The company has faced numerous employee protests and lawsuits in New York City after several warehouse employees died of a new crown virus infection after some employees and activists said the company made major mistakes in keeping workers safe.
These errors included failure to notify other employees when an infection was diagnosed, failure to close and disinfect the facility and thoroughly disinfect ingesting an outbreak in the event of an outbreak, and inadequate time for workers to wash their hands and disinfect their workstations during shifts. In response to these criticisms, Amazon has taken steps to improve public health, improve worker safety and extend hourly pay increases for its employees. (Small)