Amazon lures UK workers with hefty sign-up bonus

In the UK, Amazon has drawn the ire of smaller retailers by brandishing sign-up bonuses of up to 3,000 pounds (3,550 euros) for new workers as the busy Christmas period approaches.


"Battle for labour"

In UK areas with labour shortages, the e-commerce giant is offering a premium of up to 3,000 pounds to attract enough workers in time for the busy Christmas period. Amazon is looking for around 20,000 temporary workers in the UK.

According to the Federation of British Food and Drink Producers (FDF), there is a real "battle for labour" in the run-up to Christmas. Many food and hospitality businesses cannot compete with the wages now offered by the online giant and this could affect Christmas deliveries. FDF boss Ian Wright therefore called Amazon's action a huge blow to smaller businesses. " There isn’t a vast reservoir of British workers just waiting to be fought over. [...] It will mean higher prices and fewer choices on shelves. Suppliers will almost certainly produce shorter runs of product and if they can, they will look at higher prices”, he told The Guardian.

The premiums promised by Amazon vary according to the region where the workplace is located. In Exeter, a full-time worker can get a 3,000 pound bonus, while in some other areas the bonus is 1,500 to 2,000 pounds (1,775 to 2,365 euros).

Less choice

British retail experts have already warned that Christmas shopping for food and toys is likely to suffer this year due to labour shortages and supply chain bottlenecks.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said there will be plenty of food at Christmas, but the supply may be more limited. “I can’t remember the time when the supply chain has been under such pressure and it means every little bump has an impact.” He therefore advises shoppers to stock up on Christmas supplies and gifts in good time. Online supermarket Ocado has even already opened its delivery slots for the Christmas period.

The British Toy & Hobby Association has also warned that the toy sector is facing fewer transport options and higher costs. “There are plenty of toys to choose from presently but, in common with other sectors’ advice, buying early is prudent."