What's behind Amazon's 30-hour workweek pilot program?

Amazon 30-hour workweek
Amazon 30-hour workweek 03:32

The latest experiment at Amazon has nothing to do with the way your packages are delivered.

Instead, the online giant is reportedly rolling out a pilot program for a 30-hour workweek, starting with their HR department. Only a handful of the company’s more than 240,000 employees will participate at first, but the program could have implications for workers far beyond Amazon.

While covered by the same benefits as 40-hour workers, the employees will reportedly receive 75 percent of full-time pay.

According to CBS News financial contributor Mellody Hobson, the experiment does not appear to be a cost-cutting measure.

“One way to tell is they’re going to receive full benefits. Usually when people have part-time workers, they don’t pay full benefits, but they [Amazon] are. They’ve also said, to the extent they want to transition to be a full-time worker, they can, again suggesting this is not about cost,” Hobson said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.” 

Amazon's company culture under fire 08:51

Hobson also said she did not think this was a PR move for Amazon, after the  New York Times reported last year about the company’s “bruising workplace” culture.

“I think this really is more about the fact that they need to attract the best and brightest,” Hobson said. 

“One additional issue right now that many people don’t consider, which is that we’re nearing full employment in the United States with a 5 percent unemployment rate. It is getting hard to find really qualified people, and then you’re competing against other great companies. So they need to be innovative just like they are on all sorts of other aspects of their business.”

Amazon is not the first to offer a 30-hour workweek. Accounting firms Deloitte and KPMG already offer these benefits, Hobson said.