Jabs clampdown

Next cuts sick pay for unvaccinated workers

Next is the latest to take firm action against non-vaccinated workers (pic: Terry Murden)

Clothing and homeware retailer Next is cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff who are self-isolating after being exposed to someone with Covid.

The company, which has a payroll of 44,000, said those who have not been jabbed and are forced to isolate will only receive statutory sick pay of £96.35 per week.

This represents a massive cut in pay for even those on the lowest pay grade of £6.55 per hour, or £262 for a 40-hour week.

Vaccinated workers will receive full pay if they have to isolate after a close contact. All employees who test positive for Covid-19 will also be paid in full, regardless of their vaccination status.

Next admitted it was an “emotive topic” but it had to balance the needs of staff and shareholders.

Chief executive Lord Wolfson told Bloomberg: “Absenteeism is definitely a factor at the moment and sickness levels are higher than we would normally expect at this time of the year.”

Several other large businesses, including Morrisons and Ikea, have rannounced similar policies in response to a rise in staff absences caused by large numbers of Omicron variant cases.

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