Retail business Amazon has committed to invest almost $1 billion (£895.4 million) into raising its hourly paid US employees’ wages, and expanding its wage access programme, as of October.
The average hourly pay for front-line staff in customer fulfilment and transportation will increase from $18 (£16) per hour to more than $19 (£17), with some earning between $16 (£14) and $26 (£23) per hour, depending on their position and location in the US.
Amazon has also expanded its wage access programme, Anytime Pay, to all employees across its US operations, corporate, and technology networks. This provides access to up to 70% of their eligible earned pay whenever they choose, without fees.
According to the retailer, it expanded this with the goal of prioritising flexibility, making access to pay instant and convenient, and putting employees in control of their pay schedule. Before this, most Amazon employees received their regular pay once or twice monthly.
John Felton, senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon, said: “Front-line employees across customer fulfilment and transportation will now earn, on average, more than $19 per hour in the US, and they also have access to a growing range of comprehensive benefits to support themselves and their families.
“Continuing to invest in pay, providing easy access to earned wages at any time during the month, and offering great benefits and career advancement opportunities are all part of our long-term efforts to be the best employer in the world.”
Current US employee benefits on offer at Amazon include health, vision and dental insurance, a 401(k) retirement account with 50% employer match, up to 20 weeks of paid leave that includes 14 weeks of pregnancy-related disability leave and six weeks of parental leave, and a free mental health benefit offering services and support for employees, their families and their households.