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

Furniture giant Ikea slashes sick pay for unvaccinated staff forced to self-isolate after close contact with someone infected with Covid-19

  • Ikea slashed sick pay entitlement for some unvaccinated staff forced to self-isolate after Covid close contact  
  • The move means unvaccinated workers could receive as little as £96.35 a week under Statutory Sick Pay rules
  • Average pay for Ikea shopfloor staff £404 for an average working week outside London and £452 for one in the capital

Furniture giant Ikea has slashed sick pay entitlement for some unvaccinated staff forced to self-isolate after close contact with someone infected with Covid, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The move means unvaccinated workers, who are required by the Government to isolate for 10 days after close contact, could receive as little as £96.35 a week under Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) obligations, a legal minimum.

That compares with the average pay for Ikea shopfloor staff of £10.10 an hour outside London and £11.30 in the capital – the equivalent of £404 and £452 for an average working week.

Ikea slashed sick pay entitlement for some unvaccinated staff forced to self-isolate after Covid close contact

In an effort to tackle the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ hitting businesses, from last August people in England who were double jabbed were no longer legally required to self-isolate if they were identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case – but unvaccinated workers contacted by NHS Test and Trace are required to isolate.

Ikea, which has 21 large stores and more than 10,000 staff in the UK, said ‘mitigating circumstances’ would be taken into consideration. 

‘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,’ said a spokeswoman.

Ikea later clarified that the policy only affects unvaccinated workers with ‘high levels of absence’.

The retailer is among a string of companies such as Santander and Asda which encouraged employees to receive a coronavirus jab, offering paid time off for vaccinations.

From tomorrow, staff at utilities firm Wessex Water who have not received at least one Covid vaccination or have no appointment to be vaccinated will only receive SSP if they are required to self-isolate as a close contact of a Covid case. 

Average pay for Ikea shopfloor staff £404 for an average working week outside London and £452 for one in the capital

Absences had doubled in the past week, it said. 

‘We need everyone to be available so we can continue to provide uninterrupted essential water and sewerage services.’

The legal position of employers treating vaccinated and unvaccinated staff differently is untested. 

Richard Fox, of law firm Kingsley Napley, said: ‘With the Government telling everybody to get the vaccine and care workers forced to get it, it could be difficult for an employee to mount a claim.’

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