John Lewis to maintain full sick pay to unvaccinated staff

John Lewis offers health insurance to staff during Covid-19Department store chain John Lewis has declared it will continue to offer full sick pay to its employees whether they have received a Covid-19 (Coronavirus) vaccine or not.

Current government rules state that people who have not had a jab must self-isolate for 10 days if identified as a close contact of someone infected with the virus, even if they themselves do not test positive.

IKEA, Next and Ocado have recently introducing sickness policies that differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.

John Lewis said it was aware that other organisations had changed their sick pay policy with regard to unvaccinated employees but insisted it was not going to make any changes of this type.

Group operations director Andrew Murphy made the announcement on social media platform LinkedIn, writing that the chain was supportive of the UK vaccination programme, giving “free” time off to all employees to get their jab, as well as offering its Bracknell sports hall to the NHS as a vaccination centre since the start of the jab roll-out, providing the location for 160,000 jabs.

Stressing that John Lewis “cast no judgement” on others, Murphy stated that the business did not believe it was right to create a link between its workers’ vaccination status and the pay they receive.

“Leadership teams from every business have had to work incredibly hard to navigate the Covid years,” said Murphy. “There has been no map, guidebook or training programme to help anyone find the best way through, but we’ve enjoyed how united businesses – retailers especially – have been in the face of these huge corporate and societal challenges.

“Very often, there’s just a choice between a range of unappealing options. However, when life increasingly seems to present opportunities to create division – and with hopes rising that the pandemic phase of Covid may be coming to an end – we’re confident that this is the right approach for us.”