Amazon is reportedly giving part-time technical employees full-time benefits as part of a new pilot program.
The initiative comes as more startups and large tech companies are offering employees generous benefits and flexible work schedules, putting pressure on Amazon to compete for tech talent and to build its reputation as an accommodating place to work, according to GeekWire.
All members on the new technical teams will work part-time, mainly working during the “core hours” of 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Employees will also receive “flex work hours throughout the week,” GeekWire reports.
During an event next week called “Reinventing the Work-Life Ratio for Tech Talent,” company representatives are expected to discuss the program.
“This initiative was created with Amazon’s diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a ‘one size fits all’ model,” Amazon said on the event page. “Although this is new for technical job families at Amazon, the concept of part-time employment is not new — there are many people at Amazon who currently work a reduced 30 hour per week schedule. What is novel for Amazon is the creation of teams that are entirely comprised of part-time employees, including managers.”
Amazon (AMZN) continued to say that it hopes to create a work environment that is “tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth.”
Amazon’s new initiative comes after its work-heavy culture was brought to light in a New York Times article last year. The article depicted the e-commerce giant as a callous place to work and accused it of disrespecting its employees. The Times also reported that Amazon employees were often pitted against one another to get ahead and were encouraged to, “tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings,” among other things.
But Amazon didn’t take the criticism lightly. Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon Jay Carney defended the company against the accusations in a Medium post, and Nick Ciubotariu, Amazon’s head of infrastructure development, defended Amazon on LinkedIn.
“I don’t want to be dismissive of the examples provided, but singling out several outliers to vilify an entire company does not represent truth in journalism,” Ciubotariu wrote.
Fortune has reached out to Amazon and will update the story if it responds.