Amazon offers a $ 4,000 bonus to seduce British workers

Amazon’s warehouse in Leeds, England.

Nathan Stark | Getty Images

London — Labor shortages have forced British companies to raise wages to compete for workers, and Amazon offers participation bonuses of up to £ 3,000 ($ 4,140) by the holiday season.

E-commerce giants are currently promoting many positions throughout the UK with large cash bonuses. One of the roles of a temporary warehouseman in the city of Exeter, England, is to provide an onboarding bonus of £ 3,000. Meanwhile, a London-based job at the company offers a £ 2,000 contract. Many other roles in Amazon’s UK warehouse offer a welcome bonus of £ 1,500.

London’s base hourly wage is £ 11.10 per hour, but overtime can reach as high as £ 22.20. According to Indeed, the average wage for warehouse workers in the UK is £ 10.16 per hour.

AmazonAggressive recruitment reflects labor issues across industries across the UK.

In the UK, it is estimated that there is a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers, delivery is interrupted, store shelves are emptied, port backlogs occur, and Dry gas station.. Meanwhile, industries such as agriculture, warehousing, food processing and hospitality all warn of a serious labor shortage.

Graham Sheen, secretary of The Bonded Warehousekeepers Association in the United Kingdom, told CNBC on Tuesday that there was a shortage of warehouse workers following Brexit in particular.

“If you come from another country, you need to earn at least £ 26,000 to get a work visa. Those who enter the warehouse cannot make such money,” he explained. “So they aren’t going into the warehouse.”

Sheen said other warehousing companies are likely to be forced to rethink what they are offering to their employees, given the bonuses and payment rates offered by Amazon. ..

“When other companies try to reach that level, it’s a lot of investment for them, but whether it’s a bonus or a rise in wage rates, it’s just what they have to invest in. Best To acquire human resources. ”

Between July and September, job vacancies reached a record high of 1.1 million, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Many employers, like Amazon, offer financial incentives to attract employees. According to a survey of more than 400 UK HR directors released by IndeedFlex on Wednesday, nearly half of companies were raising wages faster than usual to address labor shortages.

Alpesh Paleja, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry, which represents 190,000 companies, told CNBC on Tuesday that labor shortages remain a challenge in many parts of the UK economy.

“”Employers are using every possible measure to mitigate this problem through targeted salary increases, increased investment in training, expanded talent pools, and increased investment in digital and automation. ” Stated.

SMEs struggling

Many small businesses can’t simply spend money on the problem and struggle to compete with something like Amazon when it comes to hiring.

“The number of SMEs citing access to well-skilled staff as a growth barrier is currently 38% (the highest in five years) and is not showing signs of declining soon,” said UK SMEs. Mike Cherry, chairman of the Business Federation, said. , Told CNBC by email on Tuesday.

Julia Carmode, founder of IWork, a leading organization of temporary, freelance and gig economy workers, has a severe labor shortage and the UK’s “army of temporary workers” can meet demand. I told CNBC that I couldn’t.

Several companies across the UK told CNBC that they were having a hard time finding employees but couldn’t afford to raise their wages after the pandemic.

Beauty salon owner Joe Bevilakua said it was no longer possible to hire qualified and experienced employees.

“Many people left the industry during Covid and didn’t want to survive the constant blockage or deal with the pressure after the industry reopened,” she told CNBC by email. “I’m worried about where the industry is heading when more and more people leave to look for other opportunities. We’re investing a lot of time and money in employee training and incentives, but a £ 3,000 welcome. You can’t compete with something like Amazon with a bonus. “”

Adam Banford, CEO of Gift Interfering Company Colleague Box, also told CNBC that there was “total” hiring pressure, especially on warehousing and packaging positions.

“As a small business, we can’t afford to sign short-term contract bonuses, and I understand why you take cash if you’re looking for a job,” he said. “Bonus is often a one or two month wage, which covers the period we’re trying to hire, so basically you’re basically always paying twice as much time. increase.”

Flexibility and ethics

There are also incentives other than wages.

Indeed, according to Flex data, half of UK companies focused on non-financial benefits such as flexible working hours to seduce potential new hires.

Chris Sanderson, CEO of hospitality recruiting app Limber, told CNBC on Tuesday that the pandemic caused a disconnect between employers and employees, lagging many companies behind.

“For example, within the hospitality sector, after experiencing a pandemic, companies are not adapting fast enough to the essential requirements of many young people: flexibility, diversity and management, so they are hiring up and down the country. I’m having a hard time. “He said.

Carmode further said: “It’s very competitive and many SMEs don’t have the money to solve the problem, but money isn’t everything. People want to work with companies that agree on ethics and values. A company that has a positive impact on the wider world. “

Amazon offers a $ 4,000 bonus to seduce British workers

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