Amazon the latest firm to offer big signing-on fees to logistics workers as drivers make hay

Thu 2 Sept 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Amazon is hoping to embark on a hiring spree in the UK – despite there being an ongoing labour shortage in the country.

Around 55,000 jobs are up for grabs in tech and corporate roles around the world, with 9,000 in Europe. Despite leaving the EU, the UK is set to grab a disproportionate share with 2,000 opportunities.

Amazon is the world’s second largest private employer after Walmart, reports City AM. It employs 1.3 million people and hired 500,000 people last year alone.

Signing-on fees

The UK is one of Amazon’s biggest markets outside the US, worth £19.4bn last year and with 51.1% growth.

According to the Telegraph, the tech giant has been offering signing-on bonuses of £1,000 to new warehouse staff for roles that can be filled before 18 September.

According to CNBC, the retailer’s hiring strategy includes an online jobs fair on 15 September called ‘Amazon Career Day’. Last year’s event received 450,000 applications and more are expected this year.

More than lawyers

Amazon is not alone in offering large signing-on fees as a way of enticing high-in-demand workers.

The Daily Mail reports that Waitrose is offering lorry drivers salaries above £53,000, which is claims is more than lawyers and architects.

The salaries are more than what some Waitrose head office executives are paid, as the company tackles the nationwide shortage of drivers that is affecting its store deliveries.

The company is also offering £1,000 signing-on bonuses, according to the Times.

Driving life is hard

One lorry driver has told the BBC that he has received a 40% pay increase “overnight”.

However, despite now earning around £300 a day, he is leaving the industry in search of a better work-life balance.

Tom Reddy said his hourly rate jumped by £7 whereas in a normal year it may have crept up by about 20p.

Reddy said that rates had been low for 20-30 years and that recruitment was a problem due to long working hours and the tough conditions of life on the road.