[SAN FRANCISCO] US online retail titan Amazon, which has been accused of fostering a cut-throat workplace atmosphere, will try out teams that log 30-hour work weeks, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
The employees will receive the same benefits as those putting in 40-hour weeks, but get three-quarters of the pay, according to the Post, which is owned by Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos.
Many people at Amazon already work part-time, but the programme would be novel in that entire teams including managers would be scheduled for 30 hours weekly on the job, the Seattle-based company said in an informational session invitation posted online at eventbrite.com.
"This initiative was created with Amazon's diverse workforce in mind and the realisation that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a one-size-fits-all model," Amazon said in the post.
"We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth."
The Eventbrite post, first spotted by the Washington Post, was available online Friday. It was titled Reinventing the Work-Life Ratio for Tech Talent. Amazon declined an AFP request for comment.
A source with knowledge of the matter told AFP that the programme was not intended for the entire company, but would involve just a handful of very small teams involved with designing some technical systems.
Amazon has been criticised for its working conditions, especially at fulfillment centres where pressure is high to ship purchases to customers quickly and efficiently.
The New York Times caused controversy last year with a story depicting almost Darwinian conditions at Amazon, with white collar workers competing to survive and sometimes weeping at their desks or going without sleep for days.
Amazon rejected the portrayal, accusing the newspaper of having ignored or omitted key elements in its investigation.