Ikea has cut the sick pay entitlement for some unvaccinated staff if they are forced to self-isolate due to Covid, it is claimed.
People who have not been jabbed are required to quarantine for 10 days after close contact with a positive Covid case.
But those employed by the Swedish furniture giant face getting paid as little as £96.35 a week in Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) - the legal minimum - if they have been forced to isolate, according to reports.
10 more Covid deaths recorded in Milton Keynes over the last week
New Covid vaccination centre to open in Milton Keynes
These are the 15 best GP surgeries in Milton Keynes for making an appointment - according to patients
Call to support Milton Keynes child bereavement charity Harry's Rainbow
NHS staffing crisis: Milton Keynes University Hospital's workforce in numbers
The average pay for shop floor staff members at Ikea is £10.10 an hour outside London (£11.30 inside London) - or £404 and £452 in a basic working week.
As of last August, people in England who were double-jabbed no longer have to isolate if a close contact has Covid. But the unvaccinated are still required to do so.
Ikea has stated that "mitigating circumstances" would be considered in relation to Statutory Sick Pay.
A spokesman explained that while it accepted this is an emotive topic all circumstances would be considered on a case by case basis, and that anyone in doubt or concerned about their situation should speak to their local manager.
Ikea also clarified that the policy only affected unvaccinated workers with "high levels of absence".
A spokesperson for Ikea added: “Since the start of the pandemic, the health and safety of our co-workers has been our highest priority. Since then, Ikea has been working with a separate absence addendum, which is regularly reviewed in line with changes to Government guidance. Following the vaccine roll out and changes in the Government’s isolation requirements, our approach to COVID-related absences evolved from September 20, 2021 – an approach developed with our social partners and national co-worker committee.
“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.
“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.”