Ikea staff face sick pay cut if they are unvaccinated and have to self-isolate

By Philip Norris

Ikea staff who are unvaccinated and have to self-isolate after a close contact with someone with Covid-19 face having their sick pay cut.

The furniture and retail giant, which employs around 10,000 people in the UK, said it was an "emotive topic" and will consider individual circumstances on a case-by-case basis, the BBC reported.

Many companies have been struggling with staff absences as Omicron runs riot through the the UK.

In a statement Ikea said: "Fully vaccinated co-workers or those with mitigating circumstances will receive full pay for self-isolations.

"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."

Those unvaccinated staff who are forced to self-isolate could now get only £93.35 a week, which is the minimum paid under Statutory Sick Pay - this compares to average pay of Ikea workers of between £400 and £450 a week.

Under the law in England, people who have had at least two doses of the vaccine do not have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

But anyone who hasn't been vaccinated and has been contacted through the NHS test-and-trace system, is legally obliged to self-isolate.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today said he would “act according to the science” around cutting the self-isolation period for Covid-19 cases.

Experts are examining whether the period could be cut from seven to five days for cases, something which would help ease staffing crises across the economy and public services.

Mr Johnson also pledged that free lateral flow tests would be available for “as long as it is necessary” as ministers considered how to move to a position of living with Covid-19.

The Prime Minister said testing was an important line of defence, along with vaccinations, in the face of the Omicron wave.

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