Amazon has pledged to pay its seasonal employees well as it recruits 20,000 members of staff ahead of Christmas.

Amazon has come under fire in the past for the conditions of employment in its 10 UK fulfilment centres but its pay rate of £7.35 an hour is transparent and competitive.

As of October 1, the national minimum and living wage for people over the age of 25 is set at £7.20.

That falls to £6.95 for people aged 21-24 and £5.55 for 18-20-year-olds.

Amazon, which posted a record profit this year, also said that many seasonal employees go on to win permanent contracts, which comes with benefits such as private medical insurance, pension plan, subsidised meals and employee discounts.

“The thousands of seasonal associates who join us at this time each year play an integral role in helping us deliver an exceptional experience for our customers during the Christmas season,” said John Tagawa, Amazon’s vice president of UK operations.

“As we continue to grow our network, there will be opportunities for people who join us in seasonal roles to transfer to permanent positions.

“I am delighted that more than 2,000 people who worked for Amazon in seasonal positions last Christmas are now in permanent roles.”

Amazon is expecting its busiest Christmas period yet, beginning with a bang with ‘Black Friday’ on November 27th.

Considered the unofficial opening to the Christmas shopping season, Amazon sold 7.4 million items from its .co.uk website on Black Friday 2015.

The company has been given the green light to test delivery drones in the UK.

Amazon’s fulfilment centres in England are based in Doncaster (2), Hemel Hempstead, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Rugeley.

There are also three centres in Scotland – Dunfermline, Dunstable and Gourock – and one in Swansea Bay in Wales.