(CTN News) – Amazon’s chief executive officer, explained to employees that the company’s office-attendance mandate wouldn’t be working out for those who were pushing back against it.
In response to Amazon’s ‘three-days-a-week’ return-to-office rule, the company has now asked managers to effectively fire employees who do not comply with the company’s ‘three-days-a-week’ rule.
In a report published by Business Insider (which is hidden behind a paywall), the company has shared its latest guidelines with its managers, asking them to first hold a private conversation with the employees who do not comply with the policy before taking any further action.
There will have to be a follow-up email documenting the entire discussion we had. In the event that the employee remains defiant and refuses to attend the office three times a week, the manager will have to schedule another meeting with the employee.
As a result, the manager may take disciplinary action, including terminating the employee’s services if it is necessary.
The guidelines stated that the purpose of the conversation is to reinforce the fact that returning to the office three days a week is a requirement of their job.
There is a need for managers to explain to their employees that non-compliance without a legitimate reason may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of their employment, in the event that they continue to do so.
When Amazon first announced the return-to-office policy, more than 30,000 employees signed an internal petition and several employees walked out in protest of the policy.
As they claim they were hired as fully remote employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, the current rule is being seen as a shift from the policy allowing leaders to determine exactly how the members of their team would work and they are being frustrated by it.
From the beginning of February, the company asked its corporate employees to be at the office at least three times a week starting in May.
During the month of July, Amazon asked remote employees to relocate near the ‘hubs’ or places where most of their team members were located.
It was made clear to those who refused to relocate or find another team that could accommodate their needs that they would be required to resign and take a ‘voluntary resignation’ package.
The company was sharing employee attendance records with its employees by the end of last month, a departure from its previous policy of only tracking anonymised data and not individual attendance records.
According to Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy, he told employees in August that it was not going to work out for those employees who were pushing back against the company’s mandatory office attendance policy.
As a result of a top Amazon cloud executive telling his team last month that the return-to-office process could take up to three years to complete, confusion was compounded further.
A spokesperson for Amazon told the website that the company is experiencing “more energy, connection, and collaboration” with the majority of employees present in the office more frequently as time goes on.
In addition, he stated that Amazon’s relocation policy affected only a “relatively small percentage of our team” and that exceptions to the return-to-office mandate would be considered on a case-by-case basis.