Shopify and Amazon step up staff spending against backdrop of coronavirus

After announcing that their workforce will need to head home to clock-in, big tech firms are now setting aside funds for the transition.

Shopify will provide employees with a $1000 stipend to buy office supples and help ease the switch to remote working.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson summons top tech firms to Downing Street

Following Wednesday’s announcement that Shopify will require all employees to work from home from Monday March 16, the stipend will be submitted as a “one-time remote allowance through their expenses,” Shopify spokeswoman Sheryl So told CNBC.

Shopify specialises in making online tools for companies to sell products online, employs 5,000 people worldwide, with the majority of its employees based in Canada.

“We have been keeping a close eye on COVID-19 and have been making regional specific decisions since January 2020, but as things progressed and as we learnt more about the impact on our people and communities we felt the time was now to make a decision,” said Brittany Forsyth, Shopify’s chief talent officer, in a statement.

Over at Amazon, a $25 million relief fund has been offered for drivers and seasonal workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The company’s ‘Amazon Relief Fund’ will help employees “that are under financial distress during this challenging time”.

If diagnosed with COVID-19, Amazon said it will allow employees to apply for grants that are equal to up to two weeks of pay, effective immediately.

These measures are in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the month of March.

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