Amazon added up paid leave on Wednesday for staff quarantined because of the novel coronavirus or infected with COVID-19 disease.
According to the global internet retailer, the company has announced the development of an Amazon Relief Fund–beginning at $25 million–to act as a pool of grant money for individual delivery drivers, seasonal workers and others who lose paychecks due to the pandemic.
“Effective immediately, all Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay,” the firm said in an online post.
“This additional pay while away from work is to ensure employees have the time they need to return to good health without the worry of lost pay.”
Amazon is now offering its hourly workers unlimited unpaid days off until the end of this month.
The firm has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington, the state that has so far emerged as the US epicenter of the virus with 24 deaths there.
Amazon suppliers and seasonal employees would be eligible to apply for grants from the relief fund to cover the wages for two weeks “if COVID-19 is treated or placed into quarantine by the government or Amazon,” according to the company.
“Additionally, this fund will support our employees and contractors around the world who face financial hardships from other qualifying events, such as a natural disaster, federally declared emergency, or unforeseen personal hardship,” they added.
Amazon hires nearly 800,000 full-time employees worldwide.
Last week the company announced that after testing positive for the new coronavirus, one of its Seattle employees had been quarantined.