Amazon AMZN will no longer be offering its “pay-to-quit” program for a majority of its workers for the year, according to the company’s message to its employees. Instead, the company will be changing the parameters of who qualifies for the program.
That news was obtained by The Information, as reported by Engadget.
In 2014 Amazon initiated the “pay-to-quit” program (or “The Offer,” as it called it) in which it would pay employees $5,000 to leave their positions after peak seasons like the holidays, as a way to reduce the workforce following the seasonal boom. Typically, the option would be extended to employees towards the end of the first quarter of the year.
Some Amazon Workers Will Still Be Paid to Quit
“The Offer” will still be available to employees, but only those that graduated from Amazon's Career Choice training program, and only within 90 days of graduating. The long-running program used to only reimburse graduates for certificates for technical skills and associate degrees, but as of this month, it will also pay employees back for GEDs, English as a Second Language (ESL) certificates, and bachelor's degrees.
The change in company policy was confirmed to The Information by Karen Riley Sawyer, the company's representative, who said that the payout is now only available "to graduates of Career Choice to support their transition to a new career should they choose to leverage their new certifications."
Amazon has declined to say whether this policy might change again.
The reason for the shift could likely be that Amazon, like most companies, is having trouble finding and retaining new employees amid the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing labor shortage.
Even with Amazon offering hiring incentives like an $18 minimum wage and, in some cases, $3,000 sign-on bonuses, it has been difficult for the company to stay fully staffed, so it’s probably more interested in offering reasons for employees to stay (like tuition reimbursement) than to find different opportunities.