E-commerce major Amazon has extended the ‘Amazon Relief Fund’ to its delivery partners — associates of the Delivery Service Partner Programme, Amazon Flex programme and trucking partners providing middle-mile logistics support — in India in view of the coronavirus crisis.
In a statement, Amazon said that this fund can be utilised by qualifying individuals who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19.
“While Amazon hopes none of the associates who are working hard to deliver essentials to customers is affected by hardship, the fund is there to support them financially with the help of a grant. This protects thousands of associates not employed by Amazon but who play an integral role in the logistics network helping customers stay home in this challenging time,” it said.
The Amazon Relief Fund has been set up globally with an initial contribution of $25 million initial contributions to support employees, qualified independent contractors, and employees of qualified vendors who face financial hardships from qualifying events. These events could be natural disasters, the government declared emergencies or unforeseen personal hardship.
“In these unprecedented times, the health and safety of all our partners and associates in India continue to be our top priority as we face the challenges associated with COVID-19. The Amazon Relief Fund is one such step to extend financial support to thousands of associates part of the Delivery Service Partner Programme Amazon Flex partners and our trucking partners providing middle mile logistics in the event any of them are quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19” said Akhil Saxena, VP, Customer Fulfilment Operations, APAC & Emerging Markets, Amazon.
All associates working in Amazon buildings directly or through staffing agencies are already covered for medical insurance under the ESIC (Employee State Insurance Programme) and if they are confirmed positive for COVID-19 or placed under quarantine based on direction from the government or by Amazon, they will receive two weeks of pay over and above their available leave balance.
The statement said that Amazon India has also begun temperature checks in buildings to ensure that employees, associates, partners and support staff are healthy when they arrive at work. It has increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites, including regular sanitisation of door handles, handrails, touch screens, scanners, and other frequently touched areas.
“Amazon India has also adjusted practices so that teams can adhere to social distancing whether at site or while even making deliveries to customers. This includes eliminating stand-up meetings during shifts, staggered shift start times and break times and spread out tables in the break rooms on site.”