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IKEA cuts sick pay for unvaccinated UK workers

·2-min read
IKEA store and logo with night city background.
IKEA has changed its UK sick leave policy. (Source: Getty)

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has cut sick pay for unvaccinated UK employees who must self-isolate due to close contact with a COVID-19 case.

Unvaccinated workers will receive full pay if they contract COVID-19, however if they are isolating due to feared exposure, they will only receive a lower statutory sick pay.

Vaccinated UK workers aren’t required to self-isolate if they have had contact with a COVID-19 case, however unvaccinated people are legally required to isolate.

“Fully vaccinated co-workers or those that are unvaccinated owing to mitigating circumstances which, for example, could include pregnancy or other medical grounds, will receive full pay,” an IKEA spokesperson said.

“Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances that test positive with COVID will be paid full company sick pay in line with our company absence policy.

“Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case will be paid statutory sick pay.

“We know this is a highly emotive topic and we appreciate there are many unique circumstances. As such, all will be considered on a case-by-case basis.”

Statutory sick pay provides a legal minimum of £96.35 (AU$182) a week in the UK but IKEA shop floor staff in the UK are paid around £404 (AU$764) a week.

IKEA Australia has not announced a similar policy, with both vaccinated and unvaccinated close contacts required to isolate in Australia.

The furniture company announced in December that it would also increase prices by an average 9 per cent across its global stores, as ongoing supply chain disruptions dented its bottom line.

It comes as the Omicron variant sends shockwaves through the global workforce, with Australia also experiencing major challenges.

Locally, supermarket shelves have been left bare due to panic buying and insufficient staff to stock shelves and transport goods across the country.

National cabinet is now considering new guidelines allowing supermarket workers who are asymptomatic close contacts to return to work.

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