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Will you get less sick pay if you’re not vaccinated?

Written by: Emma Lunn
Ikea and Wessex Water have both cut sick pay for unvaccinated workers forced to isolate due to coming into close contact with someone with Covid-19.

According to a report in The Guardian, Ikea will pay unvaccinated staff contacted by Test and Trace statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week rather than the average £400 a week Ikea workers normally receive. 

However, the retailer will consider ‘mitigating circumstances’ where workers are unvaccinated and told to isolate because they are a close contact of someone with Covid-19.

By law, you must self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19 or if you are identified as a contact of someone with Covid-19 and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Failure to self-isolate for the full time-period can result in a fine, starting from £1,000.

In England, fully vaccinated people are not required to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone infected with Covid-19. But unvaccinated people contacted by Test and Trace must still self-isolate for 10 days. 

Other companies penalising workers who choose to remain unvaccinated include Wessex Water and supermarket Morrisons. 

Morrisons chief executive David Potts said in September that the pay changes were among a number of strategies Morrisons was using to mitigate cost rises from HGV driver shortages and supply chain disruptions. He said the move was also intended to encourage workers to get vaccinated.

Wessex Water is implicating the new sick pay rules from today after recording record Covid-19-related absences during the past week. Workers self-isolating because they are infected with Covid-19 will still be paid their full wage.

Unions say statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week is failing to keep up with the cost of living

Several companies, including Facebook, Google and Netflix, have introduced ‘jabs for jobs’ rules. Care home staff also face losing their jobs if they are not vaccinated. 

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