Introducing New Guidelines and Policies to Support the Health and Safety of the Instacart Shopper Community

The Instacart Checkout
4 min readMar 10, 2020


Over the last few weeks, consumers have relied on Instacart as an essential service provider to get the groceries, household goods and personal healthcare items they need. As consumer demand has increased, the Instacart shopper community has stepped up as household heroes for families across the country.

At Instacart, the health and safety of our entire community — shoppers, customers and employees — is our first priority. Our goal is to serve our customers when they need us and to offer a safe and flexible earnings opportunity to the shopper community, while also proactively taking the appropriate precautionary measures to operate safely with minimal disruption to our service.

Today, we’re announcing new health and safety guidelines, resources, and investments to further support you as you shop for families nationwide during this busy time.

New Shopper Health and Safety Guidelines

We’ve worked closely with a panel of health and safety experts to develop a robust set of guidelines to ensure you’re able to continue shopping safely. Our goal is to make sure you have the resources you need to take the appropriate preventative actions and make use of precautionary food handling measures.

To validate these important guidelines, we assembled an advisory panel of health, food safety, and disease control experts, who have dedicated their careers to the health and safety of their communities. The Instacart Health and Safety Panel members include:

  • Dr. Mansour Samadpour, President and CEO of IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group
  • Dr. Donald W. Schaffner, Extension Specialist in Food Science and Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University
  • Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan, Infectious Disease Specialist & Hospital Epidemiologist at Creighton University Medical Center
  • Dilshika Wijesekera, Director of Food Safety at Instacart

The guidelines should serve as a comprehensive source for health and safety precautions and can be viewed on the shopper help center here.

Introducing Sick Pay for In-Store Shoppers

Today, we’re introducing a new sick pay policy for all in-store shoppers nationally to offer more support to this valued community. All Instacart part-time employees now have access to sick pay, an accrued benefit that can be used as paid time off if you are absent from work due to illness or injury. We’ve previously offered sick pay in select states — now, all part-time employees across North America, including in-store shoppers, will be able to accrue sick time to use as needed in the event that they become ill. All sick pay accrual will be backdated from the start of the year, so all hours worked by our in-store shoppers since then will count towards their current, individual sick pay balance.

Extended Pay for Part-Time Employees & Full-Service Shoppers Affected by COVID-19

In addition to sick pay for all in-store shoppers nationally, we’re also offering additional support for all part-time employees and full-service shoppers affected by COVID-19. We will offer up to 14 days of pay for any part-time employee or full-service shopper who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in mandatory isolation or quarantine, as directed by a local, state, or public health authority. This assistance will be available for 30 days to ensure our community is supported during this rapidly evolving situation, and we’ll be sending more information to shoppers in the coming days. To the best of our knowledge, no one in our community has contracted COVID-19, but we believe this is the right thing to do for our employees and shoppers.

“Leave at My Door Delivery” Now Available

Over the past few months, we’ve been testing “Leave at my Door Delivery,” a new feature originally designed to provide a more flexible option for customers that may not be home at the time of delivery. We’ve seen a significant surge in usage of this feature over the last few weeks, which is why we made the decision to roll “Leave at My Door Delivery” out to all Instacart customers across North America.

As shoppers, this means we’re offering another way for you to deliver safely and making it easier for customers to clarify their preferences. If a customer chooses to have their order left at the door, it’s easy to follow the step-by-step instructions and mark their order as delivered.

Committed to Our Community

As this situation progresses, we’re working with local and national health officials to determine the appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of all members of the Instacart community. We’re committed to updating you as needed to provide you with the latest information.

We will be sharing more information with shoppers directly in the coming days. Thanks for all that you do to support customers — you are all valued members of our community and we’re grateful for your continued commitment.