Within a 30-day period, Instacart has hired 300,000 more people, instituted mandatory wellness checks and stepped up efforts to ensure the safety of its workforce. In the next 60 days, the San Francisco-based startup will bring on another 250,000 workers.
“Each shopper who is out picking and delivering for customers is doing a valuable service for the millions of families who are relying on us more than ever,” the company said in a statement on Thursday (April 23).
The in-app wellness check asks workers a series of questions regarding their health in order to evaluate whether they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who is sent home to quarantine or is diagnosed with the virus will be eligible for sick pay from the company.
In addition, the safety kits that Instacart started giving to its workers will now be easier to obtain. Starting Thursday (April 23), workers can order the kits directly from the shopper app dashboard.
“These health and safety kits were sourced and developed with several third-party manufacturers, in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts,” the company said. The kits include masks and hand sanitizer.
Instacart also instituted a monthly bonus plan ranging from $25 to $200, based on the number of hours worked. The bonuses will continue until the pandemic crisis is over.
The company now has more than 500,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada to meet the unprecedented demand triggered by the pandemic. Order volume has grown by more than 500 percent since last year, and even with more than double the number of workers, the company is struggling to meet demand.
The next round of new hires will be concentrated in high-demand locations — California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Toronto and Washington, D.C. The company is hoping that with the next hiring round, it can bring back same-day delivery and make its way back to one-hour delivery.
Last month, some Instacart shoppers went on strike or organized protests, demanding personal protective equipment, hazard pay and more.