Amazon issued guidelines on Thursday in response to the COVID 19 outbreak and recommended that global employees who can work from home by the end of March do so.
"We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure that we take the right precautions as the situation develops," an Amazon spokesman said in an email statement. "For this reason, we now recommend that all employees worldwide who can work from home do so by the end of March."
Earlier this week, Amazon announced that full-time and part-time workers diagnosed or quarantined with COVID-19 would receive two weeks of additional paid free time. This applies in addition to unlimited unpaid free time for all hourly employees until the end of March. The company said it will continue to pay all hourly employees, including food service, janitorial, and security personnel who support its offices around the world.
Amazon employs approximately 798,000 people. While some Amazon office workers can work from home, the vast majority of the workforce has jobs that require them to be on site. The company relies on tens of thousands of delivery drivers and employees who work in more than 100 order fulfillment centers.
Amazon's move follows global health authorities' call to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by a new virus that belongs to the coronavirus family and is closely related to the SARS and MERS Virus is related. COVID-19 has caused governments and corporations to cancel tech, business, and automotive events around the world, including the NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments and professional sports games in the NBA and NHL, the Geneva Motor Show, MWC in Barcelona and the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Disneyland and California Adventure will close at the end of the month.
It has also prompted companies to recommend their employees to work from home. Google href = "https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/10/google-expands-work-from-home-recommendation-to-all-north-american-employees-establishes-covid-19-fund/"> expanded its work-from-home recommendation to all employees in North America. Box, Lyft, Microsoft and Twitter have also sent memos to employees recommending or requiring employees to work from home. In some cases, companies have committed to maintaining wages despite reduced hours.