Amazon issues important update to customers during lockdown as staff get pay rise

Online retail giant Amazon has issued an important update to customers and staff on the measures and changes it has made during the coronavirus lockdown.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 2:08 pm

The firm – which has warehouses in Doncaster in Sheffield – is continuing to operate but has come under fire over working practices and how it delivers goods to customers.

Now the firm’s UK manager Doug Gurr has issued a statement updating both customers and staff on how Amazon will operate during the lockdown.

He said: “Following the announcement of the extended lockdown, we’re all coming to realise that life will be quite different for a while. I wanted to send our heartfelt thanks to the many key workers who are tirelessly supporting the communities around us, and our warmest thoughts to all of you at this difficult time.

Amazon in Doncaster

“Thousands of our co-workers in fulfilment centres, sort centres and delivery stations across the country are working to fulfil your orders.

“We’ve been humbled by the kind words received in recent weeks in appreciation of their hard work, and wanted to say a huge thank you for your patience and support during this challenging period.

“We want to do everything we can to support our employees and the customers and communities we serve throughout this crisis, so I thought I’d share some detail of what we’re doing.

“As one of the many companies playing an essential role at this time, we’re making critical updates to our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing and other processes to ensure you can shop at Amazon.co.uk, have orders delivered to your door, and stay safe at home.

“Customers will also have more time to return items and we’re also providing contactless delivery.

“Some of our deliveries may be taking longer than usual and some of your favourite items might not always be available. We hope you’ll bear with us as we do our best to continue to deliver to you during these challenging times.

“With more time spent at home, we thought it would be helpful to provide access to free content. You can find free eBooks and audiobooks, Amazon Future Engineer virtual coding lessons, family TV shows, fitness content, plus a selection of Amazon Music playlists and stations. You can also entertain your family for a spell. Just say "Alexa, read Harry Potter Book One' and listen to Harry Potter at home, free from Audible for a limited time.

“Nothing is more important to us than the wellbeing of our employees. With guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), we’ve made over 150 process changes focused on the health and safety of our teams.

“We’ve increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at our sites, adjusted our practices so that our employees can observe social distancing measures, and we are providing temperature checks, as well as masks and gloves.

“In recognition of their incredible contribution, we’ve increased the pay for employees in our fulfilment centres and delivery roles, adding a further £2 per hour on top of our current starting rate of £10.50 for the London area, and £9.50 for the rest of the UK.

“In addition, 5,000 new full and part-time positions and delivery jobs have opened across the UK to provide job opportunities for people impacted by the pandemic.

“As part of a coalition of companies, universities, and research institutions, we are working with the Government to boost testing capacity for COVID-19. Along with other partners, the Amazon logistics network is delivering test kits to diagnostic sites set up around the UK and to NHS staff and others on the front lines of this crisis.

“To support those in the UK who are most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, we have committed £3.2 million, including a donation to the British Red Cross and a fund to support local organisations in communities where our employees live and work.

“Every one of you is doing your part to save lives - whether that’s by staying home to protect your families, friends and neighbours, or by leaving home to keep the country going as a key worker. We thank you for this, and wish you and your families the very best at this difficult time.”