Amazon’s actions to help employees, communities, and customers affected by COVID-19
1. What we are doing for employees
- We have filled 100,000 new jobs announced in March, and are adding 75,000 more, to help meet customer demand and assist existing employees fulfilling orders for essential products.
- Amazon invests more than $800 million on COVID-19 safety measures.
- We increased sick pay for Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine.
- In the U.S., we will be adding an additional $2 USD per hour worked through April from our current rate of $15/hour or more, depending on the region, C$2 in Canada, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. This commitment to increased pay through the end of April represents an investment of over $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the U.S., Europe, and Canada.
- Amazon employees receive comprehensive health benefits starting on day one of employment.
- We are establishing the Amazon Relief Fund with a $25 million initial contribution focused on supporting our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees.
- Amazon publishes annual letter to shareholders from Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO. Read the letter here.
- We say: Thank you, Amazon teams in a video that addresses employees on the floor, and on the road.
2. What we are doing for our customers
- We have made Amazon video, music and more available for free to customers.
- We’re working vigorously to combat price gouging to keep prices fair and protect our customers from those looking to exploit the current crisis.
- We are continuing with ongoing, enhanced cleaning in our physical stores.
- We are encouraging contactless delivery to keep our customers safe.
3. What we are doing for communities
- In Europe, we have committed €21 million to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We hired 100,000 full and part-time employees, and are now hiring an additional 75,000 globally.
- In Europe, we are donating masks to EU public health services.
- We are providing disadvantaged students with online STEM courses.
- We’re supporting virtual classrooms with no-cost resources from AWS and Amazon Future Engineer.
- In Europe, we are providing free content to customers such as books, music and video available on Amazon devices.
Continue checking here for updates about how we are supporting our employees, helping customers, aiding community relief, and furthering research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon invests more than $800 million on COVID-19 safety measures
Through the measures we worked rapidly to implement, we expect to spend more than $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID-19 safety measures. This includes purchasing items like masks, hand sanitizer, thermal cameras, thermometers, sanitizing wipes, gloves, and additional hand-washing stations, as well as using disinfectant spraying in buildings, procuring COVID-19 testing supplies, and hiring more janitorial staff. Some specific numbers include.
- Deploying 100 million+ masks
- Adding 2,298 hand-washing stations
- Adding 5,765+ janitorial staffers to our typical teams
- Deploying an additional 34 million gloves
- Adding 48 million ounces of hand sanitizer
- Adding 93 million sanitizing spray bottles and wipes
- Deploying more than 31,000 thermometers and 1,115+ thermal cameras
We’re also spending over $85 million redeploying team members from their typical roles to performing safety related tasks and audits at sites around the world. This includes team members who are “social distancing ambassadors” helping with temperature checks. Read more about how we’re taking care of employees here.
A show of support with rainbows on Amazon buildings
Discover why rainbows are showing up on windows, buildings, and sidewalks around the world in this story.
Babylon Health uses AWS to help scale and distribute COVID-19 care assistant to relieve burden on NHS
London-based healthcare technology company Babylon has launched a COVID-19 Care Assistant, designed to enhance the support and advice it can offer patients during the pandemic. Patients can use the service to check their symptoms, track their illness, cope with self-isolation, access information, chat with trained staff, and consult doctors. It is already relieving the burden on NHS clinicians by triaging out and supporting the vast majority of users with mild and low-risk COVID-19 symptoms. The company leverages AI on AWS to provide medical advice via a symptom checker for free on the web or via an app, and offers many other AI-driven services including monitoring, health assessment and virtual consultations. Babylon is using AWS to scale and distribute this service globally, supporting patients in Europe, UK, the Middle East, Africa, the US, and Canada.
In addition to serving our retail customers, we’re making sure Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers have the tools and support they need to keep their businesses and organizations moving forward safely and efficiently.
Amazon employees recommended to work from home
We are supporting Amazonians and others who are working from home with AWS services, including virtual desktops in the cloud, frustration-free online meetings with video, and secure content storage and collaboration. AWS also provides services for many healthcare and life sciences companies that are working on research, diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine study to accelerate our collective understanding of COVID-19.
Amazon hiring for additional 75,000 jobs after bringing on 100,000+ associates in the last four weeks
On March 16, we announced Amazon would invest over $350 million globally to increase pay for our teams during the coronavirus pandemic and would hire an additional 100,000 people in full and part-time jobs across our operations network to keep as many people as possible working during this crisis. Today, we are proud to announce that our original 100,000 jobs pledge is filled and those new employees are working at sites across the U.S. helping to serve customers. We continue to see increased demand as our teams support their communities, and are going to continue to hire, creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help serve customers during this unprecedented time.
Interested candidates can apply at www.amazon.com/jobsnow. We know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis and we welcome anyone out of work to join us at Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back. We also continue to invest in pay increases and previously expected to spend $350 million to increase wages during this unprecedented time—we now expect that to be over $500 million. We’ll continue to invest in safety, pay, and benefits for our teams who are playing an invaluable role in getting items to communities around the world, and you can read more about our safety efforts.
Amazon donating $5 million in devices globally
Amazon is teaming up with hospitals, schools, and community organizations around the globe to supply $5 million in Amazon Devices (Kindle, Fire tablets, Echo, Fire TV, and more) to those impacted by COVID-19. The device donations will help a variety of people who need support, including frontline healthcare workers who need to safely communicate remotely with patients as well as kids who need learning resources while schools and libraries are closed. Read more about our ongoing device donations here. Learn more.
A message from Dave Clark, SVP Amazon World Wide Operations: Thank You Amazon Heroes
Right now, delivering the things people need has never been more important. To all our Amazon teams on the floor, and on the road - thank you.
Enabling doctors to continue their consultations safely, Care Connect by KRY
To help to slow the spread of COVID-19, and add capacity to healthcare systems, Swedish telehealth start-up KRY has launched a secure, reliable and scalable free platform on AWS for healthcare professionals to conduct video appointments with patients. The new service, Care Connect by KRY is available at no charge to any practicing doctor or healthcare professional in Europe. In the UK and France, where KRY operates as LIVI, the platform is called LIVI Connect. The platform offers a reliable and secure way for doctors to continue their consultations, and for patients to maintain access to vital healthcare services, during the pandemic. Care Connect by KRY is currently available in 10 languages – English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Polish – and KRY plans to roll it out worldwide. It is one of several services KRY is developing on AWS to upport healthcare professionals and patients, including a free symptom checker.
Providing teachers and students with free coding courses
In the UK, as schools and students experience disruption, Amazon Future Engineer is helping to meet their needs by launching a free virtual coding programme – in partnership with FireTech. The virtual coding programme will be available for two months from 3 April to 3 June 2020, with resources catering for students aged 12 to 17, also Amazon has announced a partnership with the government to help deliver test kits to frontline employees.
In France, Amazon is committed to helping children and young adults, especially those from disadvantaged communities, by deploying programs to promote access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through online courses to discover coding, digital and computer programming, Amazon supports local communities and stays close to people affected by current situation.
Amazon donates €21 million to relief organizations across Europe
In Europe, Amazon has committed €21 million to support those who are the most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This includes donations totaling €12.5 million to local Red Cross organizations in the UK, Germany, France and Spain, and the Civil Protection Department in Italy. In addition to this, each country has also allocated €1 million to donate to local non-profit organizations in the communities where Amazon employees live and work. Amazon is also donating €3.5 million to non-profit organizations in Poland, Turkey, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria, including the Red Cross.
These donations are in addition to existing work Amazon and its employees have been doing across Europe. For example, in Spain, Amazon has launched a series of free webinars on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) topics and creative coding for primary and secondary teachers in collaboration with FormaRobotik. In Italy, Amazon donated thousands of protective items, such as suits, gloves and masks to the Civil Protection Department for hospitals operating in the most affected areas in Lombardy, as well as Prime Now two-hour deliveries in some cities without additional costs.
Amazon employees recommended to work from home
In light of ongoing international COVID-19 developments, we recommend that all global employees who work in a role that can be done from home do so. Every team is different and not all jobs are conducive to working from home. Employees and partners whose work requires their physical presence in their workplace, have access to all of their usual paid and unpaid time-off benefits.
Prioritise stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers
We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one. As COVID-19 has spread, we've seen an increase in people shopping online. To serve our customers while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritise stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers. This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.
While Amazon will continue taking orders and shipping items from across our store, customers ordering items they don’t need immediately have the opportunity to help others by selecting shipping options that enable us to consolidate orders and make fewer stops in neighbourhoods throughout the week, and most importantly, serve customers with the most critical needs first.
We’re working vigorously to combat price gouging
Our customers are counting on us like never before. At every level of our company, we’re working to provide the products and services that our customers and communities need as we face a global pandemic. This includes taking a number of important steps to keep prices fair and protect our customers from those looking to exploit the current crisis. Amazon has zero tolerance for price gouging and longstanding policies and systems to prevent this harmful practice. We’re working vigorously to combat price gouging.
AWS investment of $20 million to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation
At AWS, one area where we have heard an urgent need is in the research and development of diagnostics, which consist of rapid, accurate detection and testing of COVID-19. Better diagnostics will help accelerate treatment and containment, and in time, shorten the course of this epidemic.
That’s why we are launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative — a global program to support customers in the US, Europe, and the rest of the world, who are working to bring better, more accurate, diagnostics solutions to market faster, and promote better collaboration across organisations that are working on similar problems.
As part of this, we are committing an initial investment of $20 million to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation, and development to speed our collective understanding and detection of COVID-19 and other innovate diagnostic solutions to mitigate future infectious disease outbreaks. Read more.
Ongoing, enhanced cleaning in our physical stores
To protect customers shopping in our physical retail stores, we’ve enhanced our daily cleaning procedures and are implementing additional nightly cleaning. We continue to educate employees on official guidance for maintaining healthy habits, and are offering flexibility for employees who need to stay home, plus paid time off for those who are diagnosed with the virus.
Customers can select unattended delivery options
For Prime Now deliveries, we’ve made some changes to minimise contact between our delivery partners and customers. Once a driver knocks on the door or rings the doorbell, they will leave the order on the doorstep and then step back while they wait for customers to collect.
AWS is collaborating with public health organisations, government agencies, and businesses around the globe
AWS is collaborating with public health organisations, government agencies, and businesses around the globe to support their efforts resulting from the ripple effect of COVID-19. This includes providing customers in the most affected regions with technical support and AWS credits that help cover costs, while enabling organisations to quickly stand up and scale their tools and infrastructure to keep businesses running, and speed COVID-19 research projects. More details to be shared in coming days.
AWS also provides services for many healthcare and life sciences companies that are working on research, diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine study to accelerate our collective understanding of COVID-19.
A message from our CEO and founder
Jeff Bezos sent the following email to all Amazon employees: “This isn’t business as usual, and it’s a time of great stress and uncertainty. It’s also a moment in time when the work we’re doing is its most critical. We’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering essential items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies. We’re playing an essential role for people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable. People are depending on us.” Read the full email.
Increasing pay for employees playing essential roles
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Amazon and our network of partners are helping communities around the world in a way that very few can — delivering critical supplies directly to the doorsteps of people who need them. We want to recognize our employees who are playing an essential role for people at a time when many of the services that might normally be there to support them are closed.
We are opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public. We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis. We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back. In addition to the 100,000 new roles we’re creating, we want to recognize our employees who are playing an essential role for people at a time when many of the services that might normally be there to support them are closed. In the U.S., we will be adding an additional $2 USD per hour worked through April from our current rate of $15/hour or more, depending on the region, C$2 in Canada, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. This commitment to increased pay through the end of April represents an investment of over $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the U.S., Europe, and Canada.
Supporting employees affected by COVID with paid time off
The health of our people is our top priority, and it’s important to us that they remain home if they’re sick or if they or someone in their home has had a fever in the last 24 hours. To support our people during this time we have increased entitlement to paid time off and are enabling people to take leaves of absence as appropriate. As demand continues to increase, we are working to ensure we can continue to deliver to the most impacted customers while keeping our people safe. All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay. This additional pay while away from work is to ensure employees have the time they need to return to good health without the worry of lost income. This is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the end of April. Read more about how Amazon prioritises health and safety while fulfilling customer orders here.
Establishing the $25 million Amazon Relief Fund
We are establishing the Amazon Relief Fund, with a $25 million initial contribution, focused on supporting our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees under financial distress during this challenging time. We will be offering all of these groups the ability to apply for grants approximately equal to up to two weeks of pay if diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine. Going forward, this fund will support our employees and contractors around the world who face financial hardships from other qualifying events, such as a natural disaster, a federally declared emergency, or an unforeseen personal hardship. Applicants may apply and receive a personal grant from the fund ranging from €400 to €5,000 per person.
We paused our fulfilment centre public tours programme, cancelled large events, and changed the majority of our job interviews to virtual interviews rather than in-person interviews, which often require travel. At the same time, we increased our cleaning of all facilities globally, including regular sanitisation of all door handles, stairway handrails, lift buttons, lockers, and touch screens.
AWS and World Health Organization (WHO)
At a global level, we are working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate the effort to track the virus, understand its outbreak, and to better contain its spread. AWS is supplying WHO with advanced cloud technologies and supporting them with technical expertise. This ranges from building vast "data lakes" aggregating epidemiological country data, to rapidly translating medical training videos into different languages and helping global healthcare workers to better treat patients.
Providing disadvantaged students with online STEM courses
We will also provide free online STEM resources to students in lower-income communities to enable learning to continue during school closures, and we are working with our existing charity partner Magic Breakfast to ensure they can continue to provide free breakfast provision to children in disadvantaged areas.
Stay up to date and get the latest information about Amazon’s response to COVID-19 by bookmarking this page, and by following @AmazonNewsEU on Twitter.