Amazon VTO - Definition, How it Works, and More (2022)

What is Amazon VTO? Amazon has a voluntary time off (VTO) policy that allows warehouse employees to take unpaid time off without incurring a penalty if fulfillment center targets are met ahead of schedule.

Amazon is all about efficiency in its warehouses, and (VTO) is one approach for the company to control payroll costs while allowing employees to take additional time off without jeopardizing their leave balances or benefits.

amazon vto

What is VTO?

Typically, a corporation may reserve a few days for employees to volunteer with an approved charity. While employees are not obligated to engage in VTO, it does provide an opportunity for those that enjoy charity to do so.

VTO is beneficial for purposes other than optics. Implementing a paid time off program for your employees can benefit your organization in a variety of ways. Businesses are seeing a return on their investment in providing VTO in the form of increased employee engagement, retention rates, and corporate visibility.

amazon vto

Why does Amazon have VTO?

Along with competitive pay, flexible work arrangements such as VTO allow Amazon employees to do what they need to do without jeopardizing their status or benefits.

When Amazon warehouse employees' work quotas are met in advance, they can take VTO and leave early for the day. VTO is frequently issued prior to the busy Christmas season.

For employees, it's an opportunity to attend to personal matters or simply enjoy some more time off without utilizing vacation or sick days.

Additionally, it enables Amazon to reduce expenses, increase productivity, and guarantee that employees have enough time, resources, and support to manage everyday obligations.

amazon vto

What can Amazon employees do with VTO?

Employees of Amazon may utilize VTO for personal purposes such as caring for sick children or running errands.

Additionally, employees may use VTO if they have visitors in town or need to leave early for whatever reason.

Unlike vacation time, which employees must request weeks, if not months in advance, VTO occurs far more frequently.

Occasionally, employees will receive information on VTO possibilities at the start of the week or even while already on the job for the day.

While VTO is not compensated, Amazon never deducts earned leave or other benefits when an employee takes it.

Additionally, keep in mind that VTO is penalty-free, and it is entirely up to the Amazon employee whether or not to take it.

amazon vto

How do Amazon employees get VTO?

VTO choices differ per Amazon location. On some occasions, certain fulfillment centers may be busier than others; this is entirely dependent on the number of staff and the volume of work.

Amazon warehouse employees are encouraged to enroll in text or email alerts to be aware of new VTO possibilities.

VTO spots can fill up rapidly in most circumstances, therefore workers are encouraged to take advantage of the chance if they qualify.

Additionally, when a VTO day is taken, a separate record is kept from paid time off (PTO) and vacation days.

amazon vto

Do Amazon Warehouse workers receive VTO?

Amazon asserts that its fulfillment center employees have the option of taking VTO, and the employer cannot compel employees to work fewer hours.

However, if the total workload is less than the number of employees rostered, Amazon management is likely to encourage employees to take VTO.

Therefore, if the VTO slots are not filled, employees may continue to receive VTO notices until a sufficient number of their coworkers take advantage of the early departure opportunity.

Generally, voluntary time off is more prevalent prior to the winter holiday rush.

During peak periods such as November and December, most Amazon fulfillment centers have fewer VTO chances, although the surge of seasonal workers can impact everyday warehouse workload.

Is voluntary time off not great for employees?

One of the primary worries of Amazon employees is the potential impact of unpaid time off on their salaries and benefits.

This is one of the benefits of Amazon's VTO program: hourly and salaried employees who are expected to work 40 hours per week are not punished for leaving early.

Voluntary time off has no effect on full- or part-time workers' healthcare or other benefits. Amazon just avoids part of its salary expenditures while allowing employees to take unpaid time off.

If you're interested in learning more about Amazon's employee programs and policies, you can also read our linked entries on Amazon's dress code, mandatory overtime policy, and bereavement policy.

Is Amazon's VTO policy a benefit?

Technically, yes. Amazon refers to its VTO policy as an employee benefit. Though, many workers disagree with this policy as they see it as an opportunity for Amazon to earn tax breaks and incentives from the IRS/local governments for trimming costs.

How do Amazon employees feel about VTO?

In forums, stories have been described as mediocre. Management even told a worker that their job would become more difficult if they refused to take VTO, reinforcing my belief that VTO is a ruse used by Amazon to exploit the remaining warehouse workers: "As one worker put it, "an Area Manager really asked one of my former associates, "Would you like to go home?"

Because the picks are about to deteriorate, "which means that the things on their 'pick path' would be scattered further apart in the warehouse, making them more difficult to grasp in the allotted time."

Does Amazon give VTO during peak season?

Yes. Generally, this is the opportunity and point of VTO. One way for Amazon employees to take time off during busy hours is to be sent home. If there is insufficient work, managers may occasionally provide unpaid voluntary time off, or VTO.

How many other companies offer VTO?

It varies according to who you ask. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), approximately 21% of American businesses offer VTO, whereas CECP reports that more than 60% of enterprise-level businesses have gone all-in on VTO.

How much VTO do you get at Amazon?

Eligible employees can receive 10 hours per calendar year of VTO. It is made available every fiscal year to the employee.

So, what is Amazon VTO?

Amazon is well-known for its extensive range of employee benefits and competitive compensation, as well as its policy regarding voluntary time off (VTO). VTO is unpaid time off that employees may take when their employer requests it due to a work slowdown.

While Amazon's highly efficient fulfillment centers are constantly busy, the processes are sometimes so efficient and flawless that there is insufficient work to keep all staff occupied. When that occurs, Amazon will provide workers with the option of VTO.

They will not be compensated for unworked hours, but employees may leave early without incurring penalties for vacation or sick leave.

amazon vto

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author: patrick algrim
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Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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