It’s the time of year again when Amazon issue The Offer to their permanent employees, offering up to $5,000 if they quit their jobs. Yes you did read that correctly – if a long term Amazon warehouse worker isn’t happy working for Amazon then they’ll be offered between $2,000 and $5,000 (£3,500 in the UK) to quit and promise never to work for Amazon again, depending on their length of service.
Dubbed ‘The Offer’, the ‘Pay to Quit’ letter to employees starts with “Please Don’t Take This Offer” and is contrarily designed not to encourage people to stop working for Amazon but to encourage them to think about their job and become more committed to Amazon. The reasoning is that if an employee has considered leaving and turned down a significant sum of money to do so, that they’ll have decided they actually do like working for Amazon and in the future be even more committed to the company.
“We hope they don’t take the offer; we want them to stay. Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”
– Jeff Bezos, in a letter to Amazon shareholders, 2014
It’s worth noting that whilst Amazon recently announced layoffs that this relates to head office jobs – The Offer is aimed at logistics workers. Amazon aren’t in the mood for redundancies in their warehouses in the US or the UK either, they’re continually hiring and opening new warehouses around the world and never have enough staff. The Offer is a deal for workers who aren’t happy to prompt them to think about their careers. If they decide that leaving is an attractive alternative to staying, then The Offer is designed as a opportunity to smooth their transition to an alternative career.
If you work for Amazon and do decide to take The Offer, remember that you’re effectively quitting your job which could affect any government benefits you may be entitled to. However the cash sum might be enough to tide you over whilst you look for alternative employment.