Furniture retail giant, Ikea, has made a controversial decision to massively cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who have been forced to self-isolate for 10 days after contact with someone who has Covid.
Ikea said that the policy only affects unvaccinated workers with ‘high levels of absence’.
The average pay for Ikea shopfloor staff is £404 a week outside London and £452 in the capital. Unvaccinated workers could now receive the legal minimum of £96.35 a week under Statutory Sick Pay rules.
Many commentators blasted the move as ‘discriminatory’ and questioned the moral and potentially legal dilemma which Ikea might face if an unvaccinated staff member can prove they were exposed to Covid from a vaccinated member of staff.
However, Richard Fox, of law firm Kingsley Napley, told The Daily Mail: ‘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.’
Ikea has 21 large stores with over 10,000 staff in the UK. A spokeswoman for the company 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”.
Asda has also encouraged employees to receive a coronavirus vaccination and has offered paid time off for people to go and get jabbed or boosted.