Amazon didn’t give warehouse workers a full day off for Queen’s funeral

  • Queen Elizabeth II was given a state funeral on Monday and many British workers were given a day off.
  • Amazon gave its employees an extra eight hours of vacation to mark the event, despite working many ten-hour workdays.
  • Amazon employees told Insider to make up for the difference with their personal time off.

When Elizabeth II was buried in a funeral ceremony on Monday, the UK stopped to watch.

When the Queen’s funeral date was set, the UK government declared it would be a public holiday, meaning employers could decide whether to give their employees the day off.

Many companies, including large multinationals such as McDonald’s, announced that they would close their doors during the funeral. For some UK workers, time off was not paid, as reported by Insider’s Bethany Dawson.

At Amazon, however, the wheels of the industry continued to turn.

Two employees told Insider that the retail giant gave its employees partial time off to celebrate the event, but stopped providing a full shift.

Both employees requested anonymity for fear of retaliation from the company.

The Amazon employees in separate warehouses said the company gave the staff an additional eight hours of time off.

Many Amazon employees work four 10-hour shifts, meaning they have a day off they need in two hours of their personally assigned time off, both employees told Insider.

Insider saw a message on Amazon’s employee app Amazon A to Z confirming that the company was offering eight hours off the day of the funeral.

The same post said workers were welcome to watch the televised state funeral on site and use 90 minutes of their vacation pay.

It also said they could work all day and use the extra vacation another time.

A part-time employee said HR told warehouse workers that the company chose eight hours because this was what employees would get from the company, and it wanted to keep the compensation the same.

He added that part-time workers only got part of the eight hours off, depending on how many hours they worked per week. working week only got four.

Amazon Box On Conveyor Belt In Warehouse Of Amazon Fulfillment Center

Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

As a part-time worker, he still worked full ten-hour shifts, which meant he had to make up for the difference.

Insider reviewed an internal company chat log in which another part-time warehouse worker expressed anger at being given six hours and working ten-hour shifts.

Both employees told Insider that warehouse workers had to request leave, meaning managers could deny it.

The part-time employee told Insider that he took some of his personal time off to watch the funeral with his family.

“This will never happen again in my life,” he told Insider.

“You have to think about what she’s sacrificed her whole life, and I think it’s the right thing to do,” he added.

Amazon did not comment on the details of this report when Insider contacted him.

“We were deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Amazon observed the Bank Holiday with all UK employees being offered extra holidays to pay their respects,” a spokesperson said.

Martha Dark, director of Foxglove, a UK legal nonprofit that works closely with the GMB union that represents warehouse workers, told Insider Amazon’s offer of time off before the funeral: “another example of Amazon refusing to be honest with employees, leaving them in the dark and then expecting them to pick up the pieces.”