Ikea Not to Pay Full Sick Pay to Unvaccinated Staff - MLP Law

Ikea Not to Pay Full Sick Pay to Unvaccinated Staff

As businesses continue to attempt to navigate the Pandemic landscape, this week saw an announcement by Ikea of its intention to cut sick pay entitlement for unvaccinated staff. Whilst vaccinated staff will receive normal full pay (averaging £400/450 per week), when absent due to Covid or self-isolation, unvaccinated staff will only be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay of £96.35.

Ikea Not to Pay Full Sick Pay to Unvaccinated Staff


As businesses continue to attempt to navigate the Pandemic landscape, this week saw an announcement by Ikea of its intention to cut sick pay entitlement for unvaccinated staff.  Whilst vaccinated staff will receive normal full pay (averaging £400/450 per week), when absent due to Covid or self-isolation, unvaccinated staff will only be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay of £96.35.
 
Wessex Water have adopted a similar approach, which is to be implemented this week.
 
Whilst a blunt ‘no jab no job’ approach is likely to fall foul of discrimination legislation, an approach that rewards vaccinated employees in this manner may be a useful tool for employers, who are battling great numbers of staff absences and rising costs.
 
Employers who wish to consider adopting a similar approach should not do so without first establishing a fair system to manage and process such a scheme.  For instance, a key safeguard in any such system is to ensure that the relatively few employees who are medically exempt from having the Covid vaccine are not penalised by such an approach, as this may amount to disability discrimination. 
 
Moreover, businesses would have to comply with GDPR provisions when gathering information on vaccination status, as information on employees’ health is classed as special category data.  Although employers can be assured that collating information on vaccination status to then use it to comply with obligations under employment law (such as paying sick pay) is likely to be considered legitimate under data protection laws.
 
In summary, it is likely, particularly with the problems caused to business by the easily transmissible Omicron strain, that such measures are going to become increasingly common in 2022.
 
If you would like to advice from the Employment team at MLP Law in respect of any of the issues raised here or more generally, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0161 926 9969 or employment@mlplaw.co.uk, or follow us on Twitter @HRHeroUK.

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