AMAZON employees have welcomed a one-off bonus announced on Monday, which comes after the firm received backlash for removing a £2 top up on hourly wages, dubbed 'pandemic pay'.

All front-line employees and partners who were with Amazon, which employs around 1,000 people in Darlington, from June 1 to June 30 will receive a bonus of £500 or £250, for full and part time staff respectively.

One employee, who has worked for the firm for nine years, believes this is a result of an online petition, which was gaining traction on the Organise platform and called for the £2 to be reinstated.

Introduced in mid-March, pandemic pay, otherwise referred to as hazard pay, was introduced as as reward for them continuing to come in through the coronavirus pandemic and was then scaled back at the end of May.

Usman Mohammed, campaigns manager at Organise says: “It’s outrageous that Amazon tried to take away their hazard pay for workers in the middle of a pandemic. But thanks to pressure from tens of thousands of us, Amazon warehouse workers are now getting a £500 bonus for June.

"Our worker-driven network helped convinced one of the biggest companies in the world to reward the staff who are working tirelessly through the pandemic. There’s still plenty to do to make Amazon a safe place to work, but today shows how powerful we are when we stand together.”

Another employee, who is worried about losing his job if identified, said: "The risk is not over. As long as we have to do social distancing then we should be getting paid that additional £2.

"We are still at risk and putting our families at risk, the situation as not changed. It does not make sense. A lot of people are concerned about it but no one listens to us."

However , the tech giant has been praised for its PPE provisions, with workers saying they are well equipped.

An Amazon spokesperson said: "We implemented this hourly pay increase to recognise our people’s commitment during the early days of this situation. Now, with lockdown restrictions easing across Europe, we are resuming with our starting wage of £9.50ph, or £10.50 depending on location.

"Amazon starting wages and benefits are highly competitive for the sector and we’re proud to offer people of all ages, abilities and experiences the opportunity to further their careers here."

Darlington MP Peter Gibson said: "I welcome the arrival of Amazon to Darlington and the hundreds of jobs that they have brought to our local economy.

"Provided an employer meets their legal obligations the terms and conditions of their salary packages and benefits to employees are a matter for them. It is fantastic that Amazon has made additional payments to their hard working staff as a temporary measure, and also made bonus payments to them too.

"I am sure that Amazon will continue to make decisions about their discretionary payments in light of market conditions and mindful of their desire to be an attractive employer in our community, and mindful of the need to recruit reward and retain those hardworking members of their team."