Furniture retailer IKEA has cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff in the United Kingdom who are forced to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
IKEA said that unvaccinated workers who need to isolate because of COVID-19 exposure will receive only statutory sick pay minimum of £96.35 ($130.82) a week during 10 days of isolation.
The minimum pay compares to more than £400 ($543.10) for a 40-hour week at IKEA.
In England, unvaccinated people identified as a close contact through the government’s tracing system are required by law to isolate, while those who are vaccinated with at least two doses and are identified as close contacts do not need to isolate.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated IKEA workers without mitigating circumstances who test positive for the virus will still be paid full company sick pay, in line with company policy.
Unvaccinated IKEA workers with mitigating circumstances, such as pregnancy or other medical grounds, will also receive full pay if they are off for reasons related to COVID-19.
“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,” an IKEA spokesperson said.
The Mail on Sunday first reported the policy.
The policy came as Wessex Water also announced that it was enforcing a similar approach from this week.
Several companies face mass staff absences and rising costs amid a surge in cases fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
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