Ikea cuts sick pay for unvaccinated staff forced to self-isolate

By Isabella Boneham
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 9:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 9:41 am
Ikea in the UK
Ikea in the UK

Ikea has cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who are forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has Covid-19.

The policy took effect in September and was first reported by the Mail on Sunday.

It has been revealed at the same time as Wessex Water, which serves 2.8 million customers across the south west of England, has made a similar move for its employees.

The revelations come following a number of global companies becoming more insistent that their employees take up the vaccine.

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    How much sick pay will unvaccinated staff receive?

    The furniture retailer said unvaccinated workers will only receive statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week if they have to stay at home for the Covid-related reason.

    This compares to more than £400 for a 40-hour week at Ikea.

    The company, which has more than 10,000 UK employees, said that unvaccinated employees who test positive will receive full company sick pay - which is higher than the statutory level.

    Whereas vaccinated staff, or those who have not had the jab due to mitigating circumstances such as pregnancy or medical grounds, will receive full pay if they are absent for Covid-related reasons.

    What has Ikea said about the policy?

    A spokesperson said: "We know this is a highly emotive topic and we appreciate there are many unique circumstances.

    "As such, all will be considered on a case by case basis."

    Why is Wessex Water taking a similar approach?

    The company has revealed any employee who has not had at least one vaccination, without a valid medical reason or no confirmed appointment for the jab, would only receive statutory sick pay if required to self-isolate after close contact with a positive case.

    Absences due to Covid had doubled with almost 4% of the workforce affected last week, the company said.

    "The vast majority of our workforce has been vaccinated and it’s important as a company providing essential services with key worker employees, the remainder get vaccinated to protect themselves," a spokesperson said.

    What other companies are changing their policies?

    Staff working in the US for the banking giant Citigroup who have not been vaccinated by 14 January will be placed on unpaid leave and fired at the end of month - unless they are granted an exemption. This is according to a memo seen by news agency Reuters last week.

    Google and United Airlines are other big American companies introducing a “no jab, no jab” policy with differing heights of strictness.

    Meanwhile in the UK, the boss of Iceland told Sky News last week, he is frustrated at restrictions negatively affecting the economy “for the benefit of unvaccinated people”.

    The supermarket chain revealed more than one in 10 of its staff were currently isolating.

    France’s president Emmanuel Macron has already voiced his frustrations at those who have not yet been vaccinated.

    He said he wants to "p*** off" and make life harder for people who refuse to get jabbed.

    A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com