Workplace safety training and innovative benefits

We predict an increase in HR investment in 2019 as the ecommerce giant looks to respond to criticism of its employment practices. Complaints have been aimed at its warehouse working conditions, with 99 accidents recorded within the UK this year alone and workers across Europe going on strike in July. In response to this negative press we expect the business to invest in training around workplace health and safety as it looks to lower this figure, with a particular focus on managerial development.

To ensure staff feel satisfied and valued the company has already increased pay for thousands of workers in the UK and US, with its lowest-paid UK employees receiving a salary boost from £8 an hour to £9.50. This move will help the company attract and retain more staff in an increasingly competitive retail environment, and we expect it to conduct a review of its reward and benefits package in the new year. We know that the business is interested in innovative benefits, with schemes in place that give employees more flexibility to manage growing families, such as Leave Share and Ramp Back. It has also introduced a range of resources for education around transgender staff and offers health benefits that include gender reassignment surgery.

We expect there to be opportunities for suppliers to support the company’s UK expansion and recruitment drive that is likely to continue into next year. In June Amazon announced plans to create 2,500 full-time jobs in the UK, increasing its headcount by 10%, and we expect it to therefore concentrate on ensuring its payroll processes have the capacity to expand, while also investing in training modules that are cost-effective and quick to implement. It will also need to review its internal comms to ensure existing staff are being notified of new job opportunities at the business.

Revenue: £137.1bn

Number of employees: 563,100

HR Providers: Reward Gateway, Aon Hewitt

Appointments this year:

EMEA HR Services Director – Mark Rotheram

Other key contacts:

Head of HR, UK Corporate – Ben Farmer

Director, HR Services – Jim MacDougall

Senior HR Business Partner – Laura Grieve