Amazon remains committed to bringing more women—and parents—back to the workforce with jobs that empower them to succeed and thrive. Amazon FamilyFlex, which may differ by business and employment type, gives employees the resources to create the right balance between home life and work life, including pregnancy and parental leave, adoption assistance, and in select roles, the ability to swap shifts and create custom schedules. The program is a result of feedback from employees on the most effective ways to provide flexibility and support in managing their work and personal lives.
Flexible scheduling for employees
From keeping the same, reliable schedule week after week to swapping a shift at the last minute, Amazon offers employees in select roles a variety of ways to choose and change their schedule. Some of the options available to Amazon employees through the FamilyFlex program, depending on their role and work responsibilities, include:
Swapping shifts ahead of time or at the last minute
Employees shared that they want the flexibility to manage life events by switching shifts rather than using time off. Eligible employees can now swap shifts easily using Amazon’s internal mobile app or desktop site. With just a few clicks, employees can swap with a co-worker or a future shift that they have scheduled for themselves, letting them easily choose to work a different day that week. The program is currently available to nearly 500,000 employees in Amazon’s fulfillment and delivery network across the U.S. with more expansion on the horizon.
Creating your own schedule with Anytime Shifts
This flexible option gives employees in select roles the opportunity to pick the time and type of shift that works best for them. Employees who opt for this type of role can pick up shifts on Amazon’s internal app to create their own preferred schedule, working as few as four hours a week, and with the ability to cancel in as little as 16 hours before a shift. The company currently has over 23,000 open roles that qualify for “Anytime Shift” across its U.S. operations network, and more than 100,000 employees have utilized the benefit.
Brittany Hartso—an employee at Amazon’s Springfield, Virginia fulfillment center—chose a custom schedule of Monday-Friday/8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. so she can drop off and pick up her daughter from school. She also swaps shifts to attend important events and when something comes up last-minute.
“My daughter is involved in a lot of after-school activities, so I usually know weeks in advance when I need to swap shifts," said Hartso. "But for the times I don’t have a heads up—like an unexpected school closure—it gives me comfort to know I don’t have to take time off. I just go in the A to Z app to quickly change my schedule.”
Supporting families with care options and resources
Helping women learn and grow in the workplace is a passion for Victoria Le. An assistant general manager at SLC1 in Salt Lake City, UT, Le founded "Girl Power," a group of Amazon female employees in the Salt Lake City area dedicated to supporting, motivating, and developing current and future Amazon leaders. She recently returned to work from maternity leave after nearly five months of paid parental leave. The benefits Le receives as a site leader are the same as those any U.S. regular, full time employee at Amazon.
As a mentor, leader, and new mom, Le’s advice to women considering taking advantage of Amazon’s parental leave benefit is to know all of the options available to employees. "Amazon offers so many options and flexibility, do what’s right for you," said Le. "Being a working mom is one of the hardest things to do and there’s guilt on both sides. Find what feels right to you and your family and put that first because Amazon will support whatever you decide to do."
One could say, Amazon is a part of Le’s family. Her daughter, Josephine, was born on Le’s five-year anniversary at Amazon. Le also met her husband, Viet Le, while working at an Amazon fulfillment center in St. Louis, Missouri.
It is important for Amazon to support our employees through all stages of their lives. All U.S. full-time employees receive comprehensive benefits including health, vision, and dental insurance, a 401(k) plan with company match, free mental health resources and support, and more. Benefits can vary by location, the number of regularly scheduled hours worked, length of employment, and job status, such as seasonal or temporary employment. For employees who have or are planning to have a family, Amazon FamilyFlex offers access to:
Pregnancy and parental leave
Amazon offers a range of fully paid pregnancy and leave options for eligible new parents, including up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave for birthing parents. The company also has an industry-unique “Leave Share” option and a flexible return-to-work program known as “Ramp Back.” The Leave Share program gives new parents the option to give up to six weeks of paid parental leave to a spouse or partner who isn’t eligible for parental leave from their employer. The Ramp Back program offers parents eight consecutive weeks of flexibility and partial work hours after the birth or adoption of a child as they readjust to work schedules as new parents.
Child care, elder care, and referral services
Employees have free access to a network of more than 2 million caregivers, including nannies, babysitters, and special-needs caretakers. Amazon provides free access to UrbanSitter, Sittercity, and Years Ahead, which connect employees to child, elder, and pet care providers. Amazon pays for the memberships to find care, while employees pay for care services. Amazon employees can also receive preferred enrollment for full-service care at Bright Horizons child care centers with waived registration fees up to $250, tuition discounts for full-service care at participating non-Bright Horizons network partner centers, and discounted tutoring and test prep services for students.
Employees have access to a variety of free resources for parents of children with autism, ADHD, and other developmental disabilities. This benefit includes ongoing remote consultations with a dedicated behavior expert to answer specific questions and resources to assist children with skills like socialization, self-help, and academics. Rethink also offers free consultations, training videos, and a library of online resources to help support children of employees.
Mental Health Resources
Resources for Living, a free single place to start for personalized, convenient, and confidential mental health and daily life support, is available 24/7 to all employees, their families, and anyone in their household. Free one-on-one counseling sessions—three sessions per person, per topic—are included and can be used by anyone in the employee’s household.
The company offers up to six weeks of paid leave for parents who adopt. Amazon also reimburses employees for qualified expenses such as adoption and attorney fees, court costs, and travel, up to $5,000 per child.
Julie Murphy and her husband Kiddrick Murphy both work at Amazon fulfillment centers in the Houston, Texas area. Amazon's parental benefits made it so that Julie could take five months of paid leave; her husband, Kiddrick received six weeks paid parental leave. Amazon provided Julie with information about the "Ramp Back" program, and she's currently working a shorter shift while acclimating to being a working mom.
"Most jobs only allow about two months of parental leave, but with Amazon, we were taken care of. Our parental leave allowed us to spend precious time with our newborn daughter when she was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital with an irregular heart beat," said Murphy. "She's doing great now, but it was a relief to know we didn't have to worry about work during a very stressful time."
Flexible pay options
Employees have shared there are times when they would like the option to access their earnings without waiting for payday. With “Anytime Pay,” a free, fast pay program, select U.S. employees can transfer the majority of their earnings since their last paycheck to a paycard. The card can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted, like neighborhood grocery stores, and employees can also withdraw cash at participating ATMs and transfer money from their paycard to a regular bank account—all at no cost. The company has tens of thousands of open roles that qualify for Anytime Pay across its U.S. operations network, and more than 150,000 current employees have access to the benefit.
Amazon continues to listen and provide opportunities for full-time and part-time employees. Roles in fulfillment and transportation offer an average starting wage of more than $18 per hour—and up to $22.50 per hour in some locations. In addition to flexible scheduling, the company also provides full-time employees with comprehensive benefits from day one, worth an additional $3.50 per hour. Interested candidates can visit http://www.amazon.com/apply to learn more and apply.