When Deanna Christopherson’s daughter suddenly became ill, she found herself needing some extra help navigating her finances. Unsure where to begin, she turned to her Amazon benefits to see if there were any resources available to her. She wound up speaking with an expert at Brightside Financial Care, who helped her start a savings habit and get approved for a loan.
“The whole team at Brightside is the most wonderful resource. I can’t state enough the extent of my gratitude,” said Christopherson, a fulfillment associate in Schaumburg, Illinois. “Thanks to Brightside for helping my family during a difficult time.”
Brightside, currently being piloted for Amazon associates in 12 states, is a new benefit under the company’s FamilyFlex program. FamilyFlex is aimed at providing employees and family members with more flexibility in their lives, and tools to help them achieve personal and professional success.
Paris Purifoy, a fulfillment associate in Little Rock, Arkansas, used her Amazon benefits to improve her financial health. While using Brightside, Purifoy paid down debt, raised her credit score by 64 points, started a savings habit, and worked with creditors to negotiate payment plans.
“My Brightside Financial Assistant is such a beautiful spirit, and is there when I need to talk about some of the most difficult things a person can deal with—finances,” said Purifoy. “It’s great being able to feel supported and helped while you are helping yourself.”
Even with great pay and health care benefits that start on day one of employment, an unexpected financial- or health-related event can be difficult to manage. Amazon is doubling down on FamilyFlex to provide employees like Christopherson and Purifoy with extra help and guidance to navigate and overcome those moments.
“We want to give our team the tools they need to be successful both at Amazon and outside of work, which is why we offer benefits like comprehensive health care, pre-paid college tuition, and skills training programs that will help them in a career here or elsewhere,” said Lian Neeman, director of benefits at Amazon. "It’s also why we're actively investing in programs like FamilyFlex that are aimed at empowering Amazon employees to better understand and take charge of their physical well-being, financial security, and mental health.”
Here are the 14 new benefits Amazon is offering under FamilyFlex:
New financial health benefits
A recent survey from Bankrate found that 52% of people in the U.S. say money has a negative impact on their mental health. When someone chooses to work at Amazon in customer fulfillment or transportation, we start by offering them an average hourly wage of $19 per hour—between $16 and $26 per hour depending on their position and location in the U.S.—and provide them with a broad set of resources to help them and their family members make the right choices for them. Those resources now include:
- Improving financial health via Brightside Financial Care. Brightside, a benefit currently being piloted for hourly employees in 12 states, provides free and confidential solutions to those experiencing financial challenges or looking to improve their financial health. Employees can use Brightside to reduce or consolidate debt, create spending plans, discuss short- and long-term financial goals, or access resources for more urgent needs. Since launch, Brightside has saved Amazon employees $18 million. Employees are also able to open a Brightside savings account with a current Annual Percentage Yield of 4.33%*, far above the national average of just .042%.
- Free financial counseling via Resources for Living. Resources for Living (RFL) is Amazon’s free employee-assistance program that offers all employees, along with their families and household members, a free 30-minute consultation for each financial issue they’d like to discuss. For example, employees and their families can get help to create a budget, manage debt, prepare tax returns, or plan for retirement. Employees who use RFL also have access to financial articles and calculators, can undergo a financial assessment, can receive free legal consultations from an attorney, and have access to free identify theft support.
- Free estate planning each year. MetLife works with Amazon to offer all employees based in the U.S. 30 days of free estate planning each year. Employees can access free digital estate planning tools to create a will, advance directive, and durable financial power of attorney. Nearly 16,000 plans were completed during the monthlong offers between 2022 and 2023, for a total estimated savings of $14 million for employees. Through Amazon Benefits, employees are also eligible to sign up for voluntary MetLife legal benefits. The benefits include discounted rates on legal advice and fully covered legal services for a wide range of personal legal matters, including wills and estate planning, real estate matters, and family law. Through Amazon Benefits, employees are also eligible to sign up for a voluntary MetLife legal plan, which provides coverage for a wide range of personal legal matters including adoption, immigration, home buying, real estate as well as financial matters such as identity theft, traffic tickets, auto law, elder law, and civil suits.
- Donor-advised fund benefit to make charitable giving easier. Amazon offers a new, unique charitable giving benefit through the Fidelity Charitable Giving Account that makes it easier for employees to support their favorite causes more effectively now and in the future. The Giving Account is a donor-advised fund, which is similar to a charitable investment account that can help donors make more of their charitable gifts. Employees can give cash, publicly traded stock such as vested Amazon shares, private business shares, and other assets through the program to qualify for tax savings, potentially grow their charitable balance tax-free by investing the funds they want to give, and support their favorite causes. Amazon and Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity, are working together to help Amazon employees increase their impact on the causes they care about through this innovative workplace philanthropic benefit.
- Emergency savings fund benefit. To help employees prepare for life's unexpected moments, Amazon has created an emergency savings program, which helps employees save for a rainy day directly from their paycheck. Employees can now choose to set aside a portion of their paycheck automatically each pay period and access the funds when they are most needed.
New mental health benefits
Amazon has expanded its behavioral health offerings under FamilyFlex to address a wide variety of mental health needs.
- Free pediatric mental health counseling via Brightline. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five children have a diagnosed behavioral health need. To help address this need, Amazon has partnered with Brightline, a leading provider in virtual mental health support for children and teens. All Amazon employees—including hourly employees—in the U.S. now have added support for everyday mental health challenges many children and teens experience. The benefit allows for five free sessions per pediatric mental health issue per year, regardless of benefits enrollment status.
- Increased number of free general counseling sessions via RFL. Employees are now eligible to receive five free general counseling sessions, per issue every year, through RFL. This ensures Amazon employees and their families have access to mental health resources, including self-guided programs, mental health coaching, and virtual counseling, in addition to long-standing benefits like no-cost counseling and work-life support.
- 24/7 virtual mental health support. Employees can now also access mental health care 24/7 through a new partnership with the app Twill—a digital, self-guided mental health program. Twill also provides mood tracking, science-backed games, and activities designed to help employees and their family members work through negative thoughts, build confidence, and manage stress. Twill allows you to address mental health concerns the moment they arise and can be used as a supplement to your daily well-being routine. It is free for Amazon employees and their family or household members, and it's completely confidential.
- Access to community-based family and peer support for mental health needs via NAMI. Amazon has launched a new partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The partnership is focused on building enhanced access to community-based family and peer support services for Amazon employees, and is a result of a collaboration between Amazon’s Benefits team and its Mental Health and Well-Being affinity group.
Enhanced cancer care benefits
Amazon signed the Working with Cancer pledge to provide a supportive workplace culture for employees with cancer. That includes providing leading health care benefits and a dedication to fostering compassion in managers and leaders across the company. In addition, Amazon has expanded its cancer-related benefits to better meet employee and family member needs. These benefits include:
- In-house cancer case management. Amazon has a team solely dedicated to helping navigate work, care, benefits, and resources amid cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. The Amazon Cancer Advocacy, Resources, Education, and Support (CARES) program provides high-touch, one-to-one support for employees and employee family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. The CARES program is designed to alleviate employees’ stress related to working while sick and to help with accessing the best possible care, benefits management, health system navigation, appointment scheduling, paperwork, and more.
- Travel and lodging benefit. Employees and family members can also use benefits partner AccessHope to receive an expert evaluation from a center of excellence. As part of Amazon’s travel and lodging benefit, airfare, lodging, and ground transportation for an employee or family member (and a loved one) is covered and coordinated through AccessHope. For those unable to travel, or those who choose not to, a virtual option is also available. Employees or family members can choose to get a remote expert opinion that includes a written report and conversation with a doctor.
New temporary schedule adjustments for hourly frontline employees
Amazon expanded its temporary schedule adjustments program to allow extra flexibility for all hourly employees in our customer fulfillment and transportation businesses facing education-related needs, going through a personal hardship, or who need to change their schedule to accommodate their religious practice. These added capabilities allow for Amazon employees to prioritize important life moments when needed.
- Temporary school schedule adjustment policy. Amazon strongly supports ongoing learning and education. With the temporary school schedule adjustment policy, employees can request a shift or schedule adjustment as school-related needs arise. Courses covered include the following formal courses of study or development programs for credit or continuing education from an accredited school, college, university, trade school, or other company approved learning institution: formal courses of study that are eligible under the Career Choice program tuition benefit; higher education courses that are part of an ongoing pursuit of a degree; general education courses including, but not limited to, computer, financial, CPR, and first aid.
- Temporary hardship schedule adjustment policy. From time to time, employees may need to temporarily alter their work schedules in order to manage demanding periods of their lives while still meeting the demands of their job. In these cases, employees can request a scheduling adjustment due to hardship. A hardship schedule adjustment allows an employee to temporarily work less than a full-time schedule or transfer to a schedule that allows time to make the arrangements in their personal life so as not to conflict with their work schedule.
- Temporary religious reason adjustment policy. Amazon respects the religious beliefs and practices of all employees. As part of the temporary schedule adjustment program at Amazon, employees are able to request an accommodation for religious observances as needed.
Amazon offers a comprehensive benefits package to all regular full-time employees, which includes health insurance from an employee’s first day on the job, a 401(k) plan with a company match, up to 20 weeks of paid leave for birthing parents, free mental health support, access to subsidized skills training opportunities, and more. Learn more about Amazon Benefits.
*The Brightside Savings Account APY is subject to change.