(Reuters) – Amazon.com informed employees on Tuesday that they will do their work from home until June next year, postponing returning to the office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We welcome employees working in a role that can effectively be done from home to do so through June 30, 2021” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an email statement on Tuesday, adding that the guidelines are applicable globally.
The announcement comes after less than three weeks since Amazon – the world’s largest online retailer – announced that more than 19,000 frontline workers in the United States have contracted the coronavirus this year.
Some employees have said in recent months that Amazon is putting employee health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic.
“We have invested significant money and resources in keeping those who choose to come into the office safe through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and provision of face coverings and hand sanitizer” an Amazon spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
In May, Twitter became the first major tech company to allow employees who can work remotely to do so indefinitely.
Other tech giants have extended the option to work from home for their employees. Microsoft saying earlier this month that it would allow most employees to work remotely for up to half their weekly working hours.
Facebook said it will allow its employees to work from home until July next year, while Google has extended the period of remote work for employees who do not need to be in the office until June.