Amazon advises staff globally to work from home due to coronavirus outbreak

Online giant Amazon is advising employees globally to work from home this month if they are able to do so. The online retailer also said necessary on-site staff such as warehouse workers would get up to two weeks’ pay if quarantined because of the coronavirus.

The new policy is an update to its previous advisory that employees in some regions should work remotely. The new measure indicates Amazon, one of the world’s largest retailers attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus among staff and the public.

However an ongoing risk to warehouse and delivery staff remains as their physical presence is necessary for Amazon’s e-commerce business to function.

Amazon said in a statement: “we continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve.”

As of December 31, the online giant had 798,000 full and part-time workers globally. Amazon said necessary on-site staff could take paid or unpaid time off as usual.

Hourly employees could take unlimited unpaid time off this month, the company said. Last week Amazon announced an employee in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result the company said employees diagnosed with the coronavirus or quarantined because of it would get up to two weeks’ pay.