Next cuts sick pay for unvaccinated staff

Next is slashing pay for unvaccinated staff forced to self-isolate
Next is slashing pay for unvaccinated staff forced to self-isolate
//Unvaccinated staff at Next forced to self-isolate will be paid statutory sick pay
//Ikea and Morrisons have adopted similar policy changes as Covid absences are causing retail costs to spiral

Next is cutting sick pay for unjabbed staff who are forced to self-isolate due to contact with someone who has tested positive.

The move follows similar initiatives from Ikea and Morrisons as retailers strive to minimise Covid-related costs.

Next told the BBC sick pay on vaccination status was an “emotive topic” but said it needed to balance staff and shareholder needs.

It comes as employers face mass absences due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

Current government guidance requires unvaccinated people to self-isolate for 10 days if they come into close contact with someone who has tested positive. The requirement does not apply to the fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated staff will still receive full sick pay if they test positive for the virus.

READ MORE: Should retailers copy Ikea and cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff?

Next’s change to its sick pay policy is understood to have been made recently, and comes days after it emerged that Ikea had made a similar move.

Unvaccinated workers at the chains will now only be eligible for statutory sick pay, which is currently £96.35 a week.

The move comes as Amanda Lennon, employment partner at law firm Spencer West, told Retail Gazette that retailers will need to be cautious in adopting sick pay policies based on vaccination status because it is untested legally as Covid vaccinations and the rules around isolation are still so new.

“My concern is that an employee could argue that they are being treated less favourably because they are unvaccinated,” she told Retail Gazette.

“Retailers will have to be very clear in their policies around this to ensure they do not open themselves up to grievances and claims of discrimination, particularly where certain groups may be less likely to be vaccinated.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette’s free daily email newsletter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here