Ikea cuts sick pay for unvaccinated staff having to self isolate
Ikea has cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who need to self-isolate because of Covid exposure.
Unvaccinated workers who don’t have mitigating circumstances and have been required to isolate after being identified as a close contact could now receive as little as £96.35 a week – the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) minimum.
Ikea, which employs about 10,000 people in the UK, said: “Fully vaccinated co-workers or those that are unvaccinated owing to mitigating circumstances which, for example, could include pregnancy or other medical grounds, will receive full pay.
“Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances that test positive with Covid will be paid full company sick pay in line with our company absence policy.
“Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case will be paid Statutory Sick Pay.”
The retail giant said its policy had to evolve with changing circumstances.
Last year, supermarket Morrisons cut sick pay terms, while several companies, including banking giant Citigroup, introduced a “no jab, no job” policy.
Earlier this month, David Josephs, boss of food importer and retailer All Greens, told the BBC that staff at some firms were ignoring Covid rules for financial reasons.
“We know that in our sector a lot of staff do not get paid sick pay. Ours do – but staff who are on limited contracts or on minimum wage cannot afford to be off work,” he said.
Employment lawyer Sarah Ozanne, of CMS, warned of complex legal issues and said striking the right balance was difficult.
“This action [by Ikea] seems more of a reaction to staff shortages and how to manage them than any intended ‘discrimination’ of the unvaccinated,” she said.
“But employers should consider whether their actions are proportionate as a means of achieving the aim of getting employees back into work.”