Ford postpones return-to-work program until January due to delta increase

The badge of a Ford Motor Co. E-Transit electric vehicle during a presentation in Washington, DC, United States, Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DETROIT – Ford Motor is delaying its hybrid return-to-work program for employees who have not yet returned to the office from October to January at the earliest due to the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

The automaker briefed staff on its plans on Wednesday morning, about five months after initially announcing the flexible work schedule for its roughly 86,000 employees worldwide who had yet to return to work.

“The state of the COVID-19 virus remains very fluid and therefore we are adjusting the start of our hybrid work regime no earlier than January 2022,” Ford said in a statement.

About 120,000 to 130,000 of Ford’s 182,000 employees, mostly in manufacturing, have already returned to work. Schedules are not expected to change much, if at all, for workers who must be in a certain facility to perform their duties.

Ford’s 56,000 hourly workers in the United States began returning to work in May 2020 after automakers in Detroit were forced to shut factories for several weeks at the start of the pandemic.

Ford also announced the launch of a new “short-term remote” way of working that will allow employees who do not have to work at a particular site to work from another location in the country of employment. up to 30 days per year.

“The flexible hybrid model will be the primary mode of work for employees whose work does not depend on the site,” the company said.

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