Ford delays return-to-work program until March amid omicron variant

Ford Motor Corporation globe headquarters, Dearborn, Michigan on January 19, 2021.

Aaron J. Thornton | Getty Photographs

DETROIT – Ford Motor is at the time all over again delaying a return-to-work hybrid prepare for salaried staff members right up until March amid fears about growing Covid-19 scenarios in its house condition of Michigan and uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant.

The automaker on Monday informed employees that it now ideas to begin a pilot phase for decide on staff members in February and March, followed by a entire rollout of the application that was to begin with declared in March 2021. Ford experienced previously reported it would not return to perform beneath a hybrid get the job done model no previously than January, which experienced by now been pushed again at minimum two other occasions.

“The condition of COVID-19 virus remains fluid, and despite the accomplishment of our ongoing security protocols and greater vaccination prices, we are shifting the get started date of the hybrid operate design to March,” the corporation reported in an emailed assertion.

Ford’s delay arrives times after Google mentioned it would not be necessitating its personnel to return to office in January as prepared, saying it will wait around until the new calendar year to assess when U.S. offices can safely return to a “steady, prolonged-expression operating setting.”

About 120,000 to 130,000 of Ford’s 184,000 staff members, mostly in manufacturing, have presently returned to operate. The company’s 56,000 hourly U.S. employees represented by the United Car Workers union started out returning to operate in Could 2020 just after Detroit’s automakers have been pressured to shutter factories for quite a few months at the beginning of the pandemic.

Ford’s hybrid function program is a mixture of on-internet site and remote performing for employees whose careers will not have to have them to be at a bodily facility.