37,000 Amazon staff are set to receive a pay increase as the retail giant increases its minimum wage by nearly 20 per cent.
Workers outside of London will see their baseline wages increase 18.8 per cent to £9.50 an hour, comfortably above the National Living Wage of £7.83 per hour.
For staff working inside of London, wages have shot up 28 per cent to £10.50 an hour, with both increases benefiting Amazon’s 17,000 permanent workers and 20,000 temporary seasonal staff.
Both rates also sit above the voluntary living wage, classed as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs, which currently stands at £8.75 outside of London and £10.20 inside the capital.
“We’re excited to announce Amazon is raising our minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary UK employees, effective from November 1,” UK country manager Doug Gurr said.
“This will impact more than 37,000 employees across the country, resulting in higher pay for them and their families.”
Though Amazon will scrap its share scheme in favour of a new “direct stock purchase plan”, workers are will reportedly continue to receive paid breaks, private medical insurance and help with training fees.
This follows news in August that Amazon was employing “fulfilment centre ambassadors” to tweet positive things about working conditions in its warehouses.
An undercover investigation late last year revealed that some workers fell asleep on their feet due to a demanding work load, endured timed toilet breaks and faced targets they could not meet.
In what appears to be an effort to tackle negative sentiment regarding these allegations, Amazon’s fulfilment centre ambassadors can often be seen defending a raft of criticisms including pay, toilet breaks and conditions, how monotonous the job is and their management.
The move has been celebrated by workers union TUC, whose secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Amazon is a trillion-dollar company. It can easily afford to pay staff higher wages.
“If Amazon is really serious about looking after its workforce it must recognise trade unions, and it must end the exploitative working practices.”