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Amazon launches new term-time contracts for workforce

Amazon has today launched an innovative new contract that offers parents, grandparents and guardians of school-age children the choice to work term-time only. The new contracts… View Article


Amazon launches new term-time contracts for workforce

Amazon has today launched an innovative new contract that offers parents, grandparents and guardians of school-age children the choice to work term-time only.

The new contracts guarantee time off for the six-week Summer break, as well as the two-week Easter and Christmas holiday periods, without affecting the comprehensive range of benefits they receive, including private medical insurance and life assurance.

The contracts, aimed at better supporting family needs, were successfully trialled at three sites following employee feedback, and are now being phased in for employees across all Amazon’s fulfilment centres – the places where Amazon store, pick and pack items for sale. They will be rolled out to sort centres and delivery stations across the UK later this year.

Amazon also announced a new flexible part-time contract for a minimum of 80 hours a month which lets employees pick and mix the shifts which suit their needs; part-day or full-day, day or night, weekday or weekend. The contract will support people who are unable to find work due to family or other commitments that require flexibility, return to the workplace.

As with all roles at Amazon, a current employee could refer a friend or family member to this option, which could also provide similar, required flexibility to a partner at home. The part-time contract, piloted at five fulfilment centres and now being expanded to a further seven sites, was also introduced as a result of employee feedback.

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK Country Manager, said: “At Amazon, we’re always innovating for our employees and our customers. I’m delighted to announce these new flexible working initiatives that provide even more choice for current and future employees, enabling them to better manage their home and work commitments.

“Amazon already provides a four-day working week for our fulfilment centre employees in the UK, and term-time contracts are another great example of how we are using feedback from our people to support them with their childcare needs, giving families more time together.”

He added: “Providing a flexible part-time contract where people can pick the shifts that best suit their needs will support our employees’ partners and other job-seekers with family caring commitments a route back to the workplace, helping to boost household income.”

Marianna Desai, Regional Operations Director, said: “We’ve listened to our employees’ views on flexible working and I’m really proud that we’ve introduced new and innovative options based on their feedback.

“Both of these contracts put a really important emphasis on work-life balance and I’m certain they’re going to make a positive difference for many of our people.”

Amazon already offers multiple types of contract. A standard working week is 40 hours, with shift-swaps and part-time options. Term-time contracts are now available to thousands of Amazon’s fulfilment centre employees. The part-time pick-your-shift option has been rolled out to seven fulfilment centres following a successful trial, with more sites soon to follow.

GRoW (Get Ready for Work) is a London-based organisation which supports women back into the workplace. Director Liz Sewell is particularly interested in term-time contracts: “Term-time working has the potential to give a lot of people the support they need, so it’s an interesting and progressive change at Amazon.

“We know that many women want to work flexible hours and for those with younger children term-time working makes so much sense. We believe it’s a great way to support a widening of the workforce as well as providing valuable flexibility for parents.”

Mum Daniella Bridgwater lost her role as a teaching assistant during the pandemic and joined Amazon’s Warrington fulfilment centre shortly afterwards. A participant in Amazon’s term-time working trial, Daniella now remains on the contract: “This is the first place I’ve ever found a term-time contract outside of a school and it provides exactly the kind of flexibility I need. It’s the best work-life balance for a family because you get more time off and there’s much less worry around finding childcare in the holidays.”

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