IKEA slashes sick pay for unvaccinated employees forced to stay home

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Swedish furniture giant IKEA has announced that it plans to cut sick pay for unvaccinated employees who continue to refuse to take the jab and need to self-isolate if they test positive. In other words, the company intends to cut sick pay for those who get sick if they are unvaccinated.

IKEA, which employs over 10,000 people in the United Kingdom and over 225,000 worldwide, intends to slash the sick pay to the legal minimum in the U.K., which is just £93.35 ($127.96 USD) a week for anyone who is unvaccinated and has to stay home.

This is equal to a cut of more than three-quarters of the company’s usual wages for its employees.

“Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case will be paid statutory sick pay,” said an IKEA spokesperson to the Daily Mail.

“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 spokesperson added.

The Daily Mail reported:

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.

IKEA said that the policy will only apply to unvaccinated workers with “high levels of absence,” explaining that the move has been prompted by recent staff shortages owing to employees needing to self-isolate.

Effectively, IKEA is penalizing its own workers for its inability to deal with staffing shortages. While McDonald’s is increasing wages to encourage worker attendance, IKEA is doing the exact opposite.

“Following the vaccine rollout and changes in the government’s isolation requirements, our approach to COVID-related absences evolved from September 20, 2021 — an approach developed with our social partners and national co-worker committee,” the company stated.

The company has also offered its workers paid leave to get the jab.

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