Amazon Swindon launches new term-time contracts to boost employee flexibility

By Jessica Durston - 30 May 2023

  • David Tindal

    David Tindal

Amazon has announced it has launched an innovative new contract that offers parents, grandparents and guardians of school-age children the choice to work term-time only.

The new contracts, available at the Swindon fulfilment centre, guarantee time off for the six-week Summer break, as well as the two-week Easter and Christmas holiday periods.

The contracts will not affect the comprehensive range of benefits employees receive - including private medical insurance and life assurance.

Amazon say the contracts aimed at better supporting family needs were sucessfully trialed at three sites following employee feedback, and are now being phased in for employees in Swindon and across all Amazon's fulfilment centres (the places where Amazon store, pick, and pack items for sale. 

They will be rolled out to sort centres and delivery stations across the UK later this year. 

David Tindal, General Manager at Amazon in Swindon, said: “We’ve listened to our employees’ views on flexible working and I’m really proud that we’ve introduced new and innovative options based on their feedback.

“Both of these contracts put a really important emphasis on work-life balance and I’m certain they’re going to make a positive difference for many of our people.”

Amazon also announced a new flexible part-time contract for a minimum of 80 hours a month, which lets employees pick and mix the shifts which suit their needs. They can choose either part-day or full-day, day or night, weekday or weekend contracts.

These contracts aim to support people who are unable to find work due to family or other commitments that require flexibility, to return to the workplace.

As with all roles at Amazon, a current employee could refer a friend or family member to this option, which could also provide similar, required flexibility to a partner at home. The part-time contract, piloted at five fulfilment centres and now being expanded to a further seven sites, was also introduced as a result of employee feedback.

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK Country Manager, said: “At Amazon, we’re always innovating for our employees and our customers. I’m delighted to announce these new flexible working initiatives that provide even more choice for current and future employees, enabling them to better manage their home and work commitments.

“Amazon already provides a four-day working week for our fulfilment centre employees in the UK, and term-time contracts are another great example of how we are using feedback from our people to support them with their childcare needs, giving families more time together.”

He added: “Providing a flexible part-time contract where people can pick the shifts that best suit their needs will support our employees’ partners and other job-seekers with family caring commitments a route back to the workplace, helping to boost household income.”

Amazon already offers multiple types of contract. A standard working week is 40hrs, with shift-swaps and part-time options. Term-time contracts are now available to thousands of Amazon's fulfilment centre employees. 

The part-time pick-your-shift option has been rolled out to seven fulfilment centres following a successful trial, with more sites soon to follow. 

GRoW (Get Ready for Work) supports women to get back into the workplace. 

It's Director, Liz Sewell, says she is particularly interested in term-time contracts. 

She explains: "Term-time working has the potential to give a lot of people the support they need, so it’s an interesting and progressive change at Amazon.

“We know that many women want to work flexible hours and for those with younger children term-time working makes so much sense. We believe it’s a great way to support a widening of the workforce as well as providing valuable flexibility for parents.”

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