Grocery delivery platform Instacart says it plans to add 250,000 new workers, is extending the sick pay period for shoppers with COVID-19, and is introducing new safety measures for workers, including an in-app wellness check. Instacart announced exactly a month ago it was adding 300,000 new shoppers to meet the huge demand for grocery delivery during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s part of a massive uptick in hiring for “essential businesses” that remain open despite widespread stay-at-home orders; Walmart said it would hire 150,000 new workers and Amazon said it was adding 100,000 new employees.
Instacart’s new “wellness check” is a questionnaire in its app that asks workers if they have negative symptoms. If workers say they aren’t feeling well, the company says they will be directed to contact their health care provider and stop working until they feel better.
The company previously had announced safety measures that included sourcing its own hand sanitizer and providing “safety kits” to any shopper who ordered one. Instacart said today it was making the safety kits available for order via the Instacart Shopper app, rather than the website shoppers had been using.