Ikea cuts sick pay for unvaccinated staff who need to self-isolate

Ikea cuts sick pay for unvaccinated staff who need to self-isolate

Furniture retailer Ikea has cut sick pay for unvaccinated UK staff who are forced to self-isolate because of close contact with someone with Covid-19.

Unvaccinated workers at Ikea are only eligible for statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week during 10 days of isolation, compared with a weekly pay of more than £400 before tax for an average worker on the shop floor.

Managers at the retailer, which employs 10,000 staff in the UK, said they will consider mitigating circumstances the Mail on Sunday reports.

Ikea and utility company Wessex Water, have joined supermarket Morrisons in imposing a financial cost on those without an exemption who are not vaccinated.

People in England who are fully vaccinated – with at least two doses of most of the approved vaccines – are not required to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone infected with Covid-19.

However, unvaccinated people contacted through the government’s test-and-trace system must still self-isolate by law. Other nations of the UK have set similar rules.

Ikea’s policy was first introduced in September, while Wessex Water will implement the cut on Monday.

Wessex Water, which serves 2.8 million customers in the South West of England, has taken action after enduring record Covid-19-related absences during the past week.

Workers self-isolating because they are infected with Covid-19 will still be paid their full wage.

An Ikea spokesperson said: “We appreciate that this is an emotive topic and all circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, anyone in doubt or concerned about their situation is encouraged to speak to their manager.”

A Wessex Water spokesperson said: “The vast majority of our workforce has been vaccinated and it’s important as a company providing essential services with key-worker employees [that] the remainder get vaccinated to protect themselves, customers and their colleagues. To make it easy for our staff, vaccine appointments can be booked in work time.

“Absences due to Covid have doubled in the last week, so we need everyone to be available so we can continue to provide uninterrupted essential water and sewerage services.”

Wessex Water said that throughout the pandemic it had not furloughed staff, and anyone who had to self-isolate after contracting Covid received full pay.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.