The Guardian has reported that a number of employers, including IKEA, are only paying Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to unvaccinated employees (who are required to self-isolate because of Covid-19 whereas fully vaccinated individuals are not). Fully vaccinated employees receive sick pay based on their normal earnings. Managers at IKEA will apparently consider mitigating circumstances, which should limit the potential for discrimination or other tribunal claims for those employees with a reason for non-vaccination that IKEA find acceptable. Other employers following suit include Wessex Water who apparently implemented the same policy this month because of the impact of covid related absences. Wessex Water explained that the majority of their workforce is vaccinated and they allow time-off during working hours to receive the vaccination as well as paying full sick pay when someone is absent with Covid-19 symptoms.
Although there is a general consensus amongst employment law experts that it would be difficult to enforce a ‘no jab-no job’ policy for employees (other than care workers), this approach – of giving better treatment to those who have been vaccinated – is much easier to justify.
Click to read the Guardian article: