Ikea Cuts Sick Pay for Unvaccinated Employees in Self-Isolation

Word has been spreading across the media about Ikea cutting sick pay for employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and were forced to quarantine following exposure to the virus, which was initially reported by the Mail on Sunday.

As of this week, the retail giant will implement the sick pay cuts at Wessex Water, much like various big companies in the US that have started taking action against unvaccinated workers, according to the BBC. This applies to employees that did not receive at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, without a valid medical reason, and does not have a confirmed vaccination appointment.

Ikea acknowledged that the issue is an “emotive topic” but justified the decision saying their policies must evolve with the changing circumstances. This decision came as the company is facing challenges due to high staff absences and, as a result, increasing costs. Notably, Ikea employs approximatelyt 10,000 individuals in the UK alone.

While the usual average pay at Ikea stands somewhere between between approximately GBP400-450, unvaccinated workers are risking getting paid as low as GBP96.35 a week, which is the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) minimum.

“Fully vaccinated co-workers or those with mitigating circumstances will receive full pay for self-isolations. 

– Ikea Statement

The statement continued, “Unvaccinated co-workers will be paid in line with our company absence policy for self-isolation, with close-contact isolation being paid at Statutory Sick Pay. ”

“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,” the statement added.

A Wessex Water spokesperson said absences have soared this year: “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, customers and their colleagues.

“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.”

– Ikea Statement

Source: BBC

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