E-commerce giant Amazon has asked managers to now effectively fire employees who fail to comply with the company’s ‘three-days-a-week’ return-to-office rule.
According to Business Insider (hidden behind paywall), the company has shared its latest guidelines with its managers asking them to first hold a private conversation with the employees who don’t follow the policy. The entire discussion will have to be documented in a follow-up mail. In case the employee remains defiant and refuses to attend office three times a week, the manager needs to hold another meeting. If needed, the manager can take disciplinary action including the termination of services.
The guidelines stated that the conversation is intended to reinforce that return to office three days a week is a requirement of their job. The managers have to explain their employees that continued non-compliance without a legitimate reason may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of the employment.
ALSO READ: TCS ends work-from-home policy. What does it mean for its employees?
Amazon had first announced the return-to-office policy, leading to more than 30,000 employees signing an internal petition and several walking out against it. The staffers have expressed frustration as they claim they were hired as fully remote employees during Covid-19 pandemic and now the current rule is being seen as a shift from the policy allowing leaders to determine how their team members functioned.
In February, the company had asked the corporate employees to work in office at least three times a week beginning May. In July, Amazon asked remote employees to relocate near office ‘hubs’ where most of the team members were.
Those refusing to relocate or find another team accommodating their needs were told to resign and take a ‘voluntary resignation’ package. By last month, Amazon was sharing individual attendance records with employees, a departure from the previous policy of tracking only anonymised data.
In August, Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy had told employees that it was not going to work out for those pushing back against the office-attendance mandate. But confusion compounded after a top Amazon cloud executive told his team last month that the return-to-office process could take up to three years to complete.
An Amazon spokesperson told the website that the company was witnessing “more energy, connection, and collaboration” with the vast majority of employees in the office more frequently. He added that Amazon’s relocation policy was affecting a “relatively small percentage of our team” and exceptions to the return-to-office mandate would be made on a “case-by-case basis.”