Amazon.com will soon launch a program to experiment with a 30-hour workweek for select employees.
The program will have a few technical teams made up entirely of part-time workers. These 30-hour employees will be salaried and receive the same benefits as traditional 40-hour workers, but they will receive only 75 percent of the pay full-time workers earn. Currently, the company employs part-time workers that share the same benefits as full-time workers. However, the pilot program would differ in that an entire team, including managers, would work reduced hours.
Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.
“We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth,” states a posting by the company on Eventbrite.com for an informational seminar. “This initiative was created with Amazon’s diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a ‘one size fits all’ model.”
Currently, the pilot program will be small, consisting of a few dozen people. These teams will work on tech products within the human resources division of the company, working Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with additional flex hours. Their salaries will be lower than 40-hour workers, but they will have the option to transition to full-time if they choose. Team members will be hired from inside and outside the company. As of now, Amazon does not have plans to alter the 40-hour workweek on a company-wide level, the spokesman said.
The announcement comes a year after the company faced criticism after a New York Times report described Amazon as a company that encouraged employees to work upward of 80 hours a week while rarely taking vacation. Amazon senior vice president Jay Carney published a response letter on Medium saying that the story “misrepresented” the company and offering Amazon’s perspective.
Amazon did not comment on whether this program was in relation to the New York Times report.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Karen Turner