Amazon staff globally to work from home until end of March

13 Mar 2020

Image: © Mike Mareen/

Tech giant Amazon has advised staff to work from home where possible and has extended sick pay in the US for those diagnosed with Covid-19.

With news of the coronavirus around the world changing every day, multinationals have had to act quickly to reduce the spread of the virus among their employees.

Yesterday (12 March), Amazon advised its staff globally to work from home, where possible, until the end of March.

Future Human

The e-commerce giant employs almost 800,000 staff members around the world. In a statement, Amazon said: “We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve.”

The company isn’t the first tech giant to ask its staff to work from home. Earlier this month, Indeed, Facebook, Twitter and Google were among the multinationals that advised thousands of employees to work remotely.

While it’s expected that Amazon’s office staff will be able to work from home as advised, a large proportion of its employees are warehouse workers and delivery drivers who will be unable to work remotely.

However, earlier this week, the company announced it would extend its sick pay in the US, providing two weeks of extra paid time off for full and part-time employees who are diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed into quarantine, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This may come as a relief to many in the US, where one in four private workers are not entitled to paid sick leave and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that rises to seven in 10 among low-paid workers.

Amazon also said it will continue to pay all hourly employees, including food service, janitorial and security staff, who support its offices around the world.

Relief fund

These measures come alongside a $25m relief fund announced on Wednesday (11 March), which was set up for the company’s delivery drivers, seasonal workers and other contractors amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Along with the two weeks of sick pay, the fund is also intended to support its employees and contractors globally “who face financial hardships from other qualifying events, such as a natural disaster, federally declared emergency, or unforeseen personal hardship.”

These workers will be able to apply to receive a personal grant from the fund, ranging from $400 to $5,000 per person.

Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic