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Amazon To Benefit From Changes To Penalty Rates

As Amazon hunts for distribution warehouse space in Australia the Company has announced that it is set to create 30,000 part-time positions in the U.S alone.

The Company has also said that they have nearly doubled the total number of its customer base resulting in the US Company having to expand their sprawling warehouse network worldwide.

In Australia, the Company is tipped to benefit from proposed changes to penalty rates for workers with the Company being able to employ additional people of a weekend as well as people who struggle to leave home due to parenting or other issues.

The Fair Work Commission and the Productivity Commission believes that adjusting Sunday penalty rates can create more jobs, more hours and more opportuni­ties for businesses such as Amazon who operate 7 days a week 52 weeks of the year.

An employee selects a branded cardboard box at the Amazon.co.uk. Marston Gate ‘Fulfillment Center,’ the U.K. site of Amazon.com Inc., in Ridgmont, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. Amazon.com Inc.’s share of the tablet computer market will surge to 14 percent this quarter as consumer demand catapults the Kindle Fire to the No. 2 spot after Apple Inc.’s iPad, according to research firm IHS Inc. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Of the jobs created in the USA, 25,000 will be warehouse positions and the remaining 5,000 home-based positions answering customer calls, emails and chats in what the online retail giant calls its virtual customer-service department.

Amazon’s workforce has been growing rapidly in recent years as it builds dozens of warehouses to be closer to customers, which reduces shipping costs and allows the company to deliver more of its own packages. Last year the world-wide workforce grew 48%, to 341,400.

The Company is expected to hire several thousand people in Australia during the next few years as they expand their operations.

Several of those employees will work from home answering customer inquiries.

Tom Weiland, vice president for world-wide customer service told the Wall Street Journal, that a rapidly growing customer base is the reason for more than doubling the size of the Companies virtual customer-service program.

“Our work-from-home program, just like our customer-service program generally, continues to grow because the Amazon business continues to grow so fast,” he said in an interview. “We just need to keep up with the pace.”

Mr. Weiland said expanding the virtual customer-service workforce specifically allows Amazon to tap workers who have difficulty leaving the house for a job or face other obstacles, such as stay-at-home parents.

Amazon has nearly 40,000 part-time U.S. employees, and those working more than 20 hours a week receive benefits including dental and vision insurance and cash to purchase medical insurance or pay medical costs.

Amazon hasn’t previously disclosed its part-time hiring plans.

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