In its continued effort to support workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Instacart has introduced several new initiatives: in-app “wellness checks,” extended pay and bonuses, and easier access to personal protective equipment.
“As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we remain committed to the health and safety of the shopper community,” a company blog post said. “Since this crisis began, we’ve looked for proactive ways to ensure that you are all kept safe.”
Wellness checks will providedaily in-app assessments to help determine if personal shoppers have any SARS-CoV-2 symptoms and, if necessary, provide guidance. Before venturing to the grocery store, workers must answer a series of health questions, and if they aren’t feeling well, will be directed to contact a doctor and refrain from shopping for the time being. “This is another way we’re ensuring the health of the shopper community is first and foremost, and helping keep the entire Instacart community safe during this time,” according to the blog.
Between rapidly increasing customer demand and the required self-isolation period for COVID-19 patients, the online grocery delivery service has been forced to hire 250,000 more full-service shoppers—one month after bringing in 300,000 additional recruits. All active workers can order a health-and-safety kit (featuring a face mask and hand sanitizer) via the app dashboard.
The company is currently focused on high-priority areas in California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Toronto. In places with enough workers to meet requirements, Instacart is reintroducing waiting lists for prospective shoppers.
Those 550,000 new employees will also benefit from extended sick pay, now available for the duration of the crisis to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in mandatory quarantine by a local, state, or public health authority. And, Instacart announced continued bonus payments ($25 to $500 monthly) for in-store shoppers, shift leads, and site managers, with the bonus amounts determined based on the number of hours worked.