Online retail giant Amazon has announced a pilot scheme that will introduce a 30-hour work week for select employees. The pilot will consist of a few technical teams, with all team members working part-time, managers included.
The employees taking part in the programme will receive the same benefits as full-time staff, but 75% of the pay. All team members are required to work Monday through Thursday, from 10 am to 2 pm. Flex hours throughout the week will be used to make up the additional time.
“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”, Amazon stated on Eventbrite.com in the description of an informational session called Reinventing the Work-Life Ratio for Tech Talent.
“We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth”, the company continued.
Amazon does not have plans to alter the 40-hour work week throughout the company, a spokesman told The Washington Post. He added that employees taking part in the pilot will have the option to transition to full-time hours if they prefer to.
Ellen Galinsky, president and founder of the Families and Work Institute told The Washington Post the move could help reduce stigma, as well as diversify Amazon’s workforce.
“There has for a very long time been a stigma against working reduced hours, or part-time work,” she said. “Even names like that, ‘part-time’ or ‘reduced,’ make it seem like a deviation from the norm, like you’re doing less.”
Although the gender pay gap is almost non-existent at Amazon – women earn 99.9 cents for every dollar men earn in the same job – women only make up 39% of its global workforce. Introducing a 30-hour work week for technical teams could attract more female employees, as they tend to spend more time caring for children than their male co-workers.
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