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COVID-19: Amazon staff in the UK to get pay bonus in the run-up to Christmas

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Amazon staff in the UK are set to see a Christmas boost in their pay packet, after the firm announced $500m (£374m) in global bonuses.

The company, which is run by the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, will hand out £300 to full-time workers who are employed from 1 to 31 December, while part-time staff will get £150.

It comes after a year where many people have relied on the company – which runs a global retail operation and streaming service – to send gifts, buy essential items or while away the hours on box sets and films.

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Amazon sales have rocketed as a result of the pandemic

In a blog post, the firm’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, Dave Clark, said this holiday season would be “unique”, and that he was “grateful to our teams who continue to play a vital role serving their communities”.

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He added: “This brings our total spent on special bonuses and incentives for our teams globally to over $2.5bn (£1.84bn) in 2020, including a $500m (£374m) thank you bonus earlier this year.

“Our teams are doing amazing work serving customers’ essential needs, while also helping to bring some much-needed holiday cheer for socially distanced families around the world. I’ve never been more grateful for, or proud of, our teams.”

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Despite paying two rounds of bonuses this year, the firm has had to answer questions about its safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic after US politicians scrutinised Amazon’s working practices.

CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos (R) gestures as he addresses the Amazon's annual Smbhav event in New Delhi on January 15, 2020. - Bezos, whose worth has been estimated at more than $110 billion, is officially in India for a meeting of business leaders in New Delhi. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person

Amazon joins major US retailers such as Walmart and Home Depot in spreading the wealth, after sales during coronavirus lockdowns surged.

Bezos also grew his personal wealth exponentially in 2020 and is estimated to be worth almost $186bn (£136bn) – almost $60bn (£44bn) ahead of the next richest person in the world, Elon Musk.

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