By Laura Kemp • 13 January 2022 • 14:24
According to the BBC, retailer Next has cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who are forced to self-isolate due to exposure to Covid.
Unvaccinated staff who test positive for Covid will still get full sick pay.
The move follows a similar decision from Ikea. Next said it was an “emotive topic” but that it has to balance staff and shareholder needs.
Employers are facing mass absences caused by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
It is not clear when Next made the decision but it is believed that it was recent.
Unvaccinated staff at Next who test positive will still be paid full sick pay for the time they need off work, however, those who are unvaccinated and have come into contact with someone who is Covid positive will not receive full pay.
The retailer currently pays its sales consultants and stock assistants between £6.55 and £9.21 an hour, while warehouse operatives are paid between £9.30 and £11.26 an hour.
Unvaccinated staff who have been identified as being in close contact with someone with Covid could receive as little as £96.35 a week – the Statutory Sick Pay minimum – unless there are mitigating circumstances.
In December, official self-isolation guidance was eased for those who have been jabbed, meaning they do not have to isolate if they have been exposed to the virus.
However, there was no change in the guidance for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the virus, meaning they still have to isolate for 10 days after the date of exposure.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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