Ikea and Wessex Water to cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff

Ikea has cut sick pay for some unvaccinated staff in the UK who are self-isolating after contact with a positive Covid-19 case.

The policy means the furniture retailer joins an expanding list of companies that are adopting a tougher approach to staff who decline a vaccination.

Ikea, which has more than 10,000 staff in the UK, has said it will reduce sick pay to this group to the statutory minimum of £96.35 a week. The policy change was first reported by The Mail on Sunday.

“Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case will be paid statutory sick pay,” Ikea said.

The UK government scrapped self-isolation in August for double-jabbed close contacts of a Covid-19 case.

Ikea said its approach to Covid-19-related absences changed after September last year and individuals absent from work would be considered “on a case-by-case basis”.

Utility company Wessex Water laid out a similar sick pay policy change starting on Monday, joining companies including Wm Morrison, which have already reduced sick pay for unvaccinated staff.

The water supply and sewerage company, which has experienced mounting absences in recent weeks, will pay the statutory minimum sick pay to any isolating employee who has not received at least one Covid-19 vaccine. 

“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,” said Wessex Water.

Julian Cox, head of the employment practice at BLM Law, said any company cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff “needs to tread carefully”.
“Whilst some businesses view this as an attractive way to encourage staff to get vaccinated, there are potential bear traps for the unwary including claims of breach of contract, constructive dismissal and discrimination,” he added.

Marie Walsh, an employment law specialist, warned companies should “consider the repercussions” of such a policy. “This may lead to employees failing to isolate and adhere to guidance and attending work when they should not,” she added.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more