Parents, grandparents and guardians from Swansea, Warrington and Sutton Coldfield are among hundreds of Amazon employees in the UK planning their first Christmas after joining the company’s innovative new term-time contract.
Launched earlier this year, the contract, which remains a unique UK working option, guarantees time off for the Christmas school holidays, as well as Easter and the longer Summer break, without affecting a comprehensive range of benefits, including private medical insurance and life assurance.
Open to any operations employees who care for a school-age child, two-thirds of those who’ve signed up so far are mums and grandmothers. Dads and grandads make up the rest and one is David Brownhill, from Swansea.
“Enjoying the holidays together”
David joined Amazon’s Welsh fulfilment centre five years ago following redundancy from a previous role. The single dad, who has twin teenage daughters, says the contract is exactly what his family needs.
“I’m trying to do the best I can for my kids and this flexibility gives me certainty. I can spend the time I need to with them and with life being so busy, it’s one less thing to think about.
“As I’ve got older, I’ve become a lot more reflective of the past and the importance of time together. I spent a lot of time away when the children were younger, and this contract helps me to make up for that and spend a lot more time together now.”
Based on employee feedback and initially launched in Amazon’s larger fulfilment centres, the contract – which is aimed at better supporting family needs – has now been expanded to include thousands of employees in the company’s network of delivery stations as well.
David said: “We’re looking forward to Christmas and it means a lot to me to be able to plan and make those memories. It’s a stabilising effect, and it helps to give my kids the consistency and wellbeing they really need, so they can focus on what’s important to them.”
“I don’t need a babysitter and it’s just brilliant for our family life.”
Another working mum at Amazon who is also embracing a term-time contract is Daniella Bridgwater, who works at the fulfilment centre in Warrington. Daniella has worked at Amazon since 2020 and joined the company after leaving her previous job as a teaching assistant during the pandemic.
“In my previous role, I really enjoyed working to the school timetable, which is essentially a term-time contract,” Daniella said. “I have a 12-year-old daughter, Kaycee, and working in a school allowed me to spend holidays with her, which I loved.”
“When I made the decision to join Amazon, the flexibility with the shift patterns here was a big plus for me. When term-time contracts came in earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to use it and it’s had such a positive impact on our family,” she added.
Daniella goes on to explain how term-time contracts work. “I get the same time off as my daughter. I’ll have two weeks off this Christmas, two weeks off at Easter and then the full six weeks off during the summer. It’s fantastic – it helps me plan time with my daughter, it means I don’t need a babysitter and it’s just brilliant for our family life.”
This Christmas, Daniella and Kaycee will be using their time off together to indulge in one of their great loves – baking. “We love baking – particularly cheesecakes and Victoria Sponge cakes. This year, Kaycee wants to create a Christmas masterpiece and because of Amazon’s term-time contract, I know I’m going to be at home with her to bake together and that’s really special to me.”
A flexible part-time contract, with a minimum of 80 hours per month, is also now available to thousands of additional employees following its launch earlier this year. Amazon Anytime lets employees pick and mix the shifts which suit their needs; part-day or full-day, day or night, weekday or weekend. The contract is also aimed at supporting people who are unable to find work due to family or other commitments that require flexibility, return to the workplace.
“My children are so grateful that I’m around during the holidays.”
Sharon Kaur works at Amazon’s new fulfilment centre in Sutton Coldfield as an area manager. Sharon joined Amazon five years ago, initially working at the Amazon receive centre in Coventry.
“Before joining Amazon, I had a few different roles that I was trying to combine with being a mum, but I didn’t find anything that really benefitted my family life. When the job at Amazon came up, I thought I’d apply because the shift patterns are flexible and I thought the idea of night shift would mean that I could be there for my family during the day,” Sharon explains.
“When term-time contracts were introduced, the flexibility became even greater,” she said. “Moving to a term-time contract was the best decision I’ve ever made. It means I can be off when my children are off, I don’t need to rely on my family for childcare and I can continue with my career too.”
“My kids love my working pattern now. I felt I was missing out before, and so did they, so to have this flexibility now is amazing,” Sharon said.
Speaking on how her term-time contract will benefit her and her family this Christmas, Sharon said: “It allows us to sit down together and plan what we’re going to do together during the holidays. As a family, we love to make plans – whether that’s doing an activity, going on a trip or just staying home – and my term-time contract means I can make those plans.”
“My children are so grateful that I’m around during the holidays and for me, that’s priceless,” Sharon added.
Read more about the benefits of working at Amazon.