// Sainsbury’s asks employees to postpone Christmas parties amid new Covid variant
// The Omicron variant is likely to lead to higher staff absence levels
Sainsbury’s has reportedly decided to postpone all staff Christmas parties after fears about the new Covid-19 variant.
The grocer said the Omicron variant is likely to lead to higher staff absence levels during the holiday trading period.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts asked his employees to postpone all festive celebrations until the new year, The Grocer reported.
Roberts added that the retailer would make sure “that no one is out of pocket as a result of this decision”.
“Our teams have done an amazing job this year dealing with all the challenges of the pandemic and with the many issues we continue to deal with across the food supply chain in the run-up to Christmas,” he said.
“We are doing everything we can to protect Christmas for our colleagues and our customers and keep everyone safe.”
Sainsbury’s decision to postpone the Christmas gatherings came following internal discussions with the store employee representative group.
Boris Johnson also announced earlier this week that all contacts of new variant cases must self-isolate even if fully jabbed.
The government also changed its Covid rules on Tuesday to make it compulsory for everyone to wear a face covering inside all stores.