Home Internet Shopify Ends Internet Reimbursement Policy and Other Employee Benefits

Shopify Ends Internet Reimbursement Policy and Other Employee Benefits

Shopify told employees late last week that, as of July 1, the company will no longer allow certain types of expense reimbursements.

Those expenses include a benefit that allows employees to be reimbursed for up to $55 in monthly internet costs. The exact reimbursement amount varies by country depending on the average cost of internet there, according to internal documents viewed by Business Insider.

“The Internet expense was set up to fill a need as the pandemic hit and we transitioned to remote work. Some Shopifolk didn’t have reliable home internet (or any, in some cases), and needed to get set up quickly,” read an email that was sent to all Shopify employees and viewed by BI. “Today, four years later, having a robust internet connection has become an expected part of working in a digital company like ours.”

Employees will have until the end of the year to submit any expenses they incur before the program is sunset on July 1.

The policy will continue in certain countries and US states where regulations require employers to provide reimbursement for remote work costs. Most of Shopify’s employees are based in Canada and the US.

The change has upset some employees who continue to work from home and say they have come to rely on the internet benefit. Shopify, like other companies worldwide, went fully remote early in the pandemic, but it has remained remote-first even as many other peers have instituted return-to-office policies. The company brings employees and partners together for occasional events, and it reopened some offices for optional in-person work last summer.

Shopify will also be sunsetting several expenses that the email to employees described as “low use / high toil.” These include a $25 credit that employees receive on their birthday and can be used to make a purchase from a Shopify merchant. Shopify also previously covered 50% of registration fees for employees looking to sign up for a sports team with their coworkers.

And, it allowed employees to expense up to $1,200 a year for books, professional development subscriptions, and language-learning resources. Employees will still be able to expense books and professional courses with prior managerial approval.

Representatives for Shopify did not return BI’s request for comment on the changes to its expense policy. However, the email to employees said they were necessary for the company to meet its current needs.

“As we’ve evolved through many versions of Shopify, what we allow people to expense has evolved alongside us,” it read. “What stays consistent is our philosophy that everything we offer to our people must meet the needs of the Shopify of today, and set us up for the future.”

Shopify has recently touted several ways it has kept its spending efficient. During its first-quarter earnings call in May, it said AI had helped it keep its head count flat, particularly within the teams that handle customer-support requests. A recent reorg in Support has seen some employees moved to new teams as functions have become consolidated and streamlined.

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