In a blog post, John Lewis group operations director Andrew Murphy told staff – whom it calls partners – across its department stores and Waitrose grocers: ‘We just don’t believe it’s right to create a link between a partner’s vaccination status and the pay they receive.
‘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.’
He said John Lewis ‘cast no judgment’ on other businesses and that the pandemic had often left firms with ‘just a choice between a range of unappealing options.’
We’re conscious that some businesses have changed their sick pay policy with regard to unvaccinated employees in some Covid related absence scenarios.
At the John Lewis Partnership we’re not going to make any change of this type.
We’re hugely supportive of the UK vaccination programme (we give ‘free’ time off to all Partners to get their vaccination and we’ve provided our Bracknell sports hall to the NHS as a vaccination centre since the very start of the jab roll-out, providing 160,000 jabs). We just don’t believe it’s right to create a link between a Partner’s vaccination status and the pay they receive.
Leadership teams from every business have had to work incredibly hard to navigate the Covid years. There has been no map, guidebook or training programme to help anyone find the best way through. Very often, there’s just a choice between a range of unappealing options.
We cast no judgement on the decisions of any other organisation, in fact we’ve enjoyed how united businesses – retailers especially – have been in the face of these huge corporate and societal challenges. 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.
Ocado has announced it is cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff who must self-isolate due to exposure to Covid-19.
According to the BBC, the online grocer will continue to offer full sick pay if unvaccinated workers test positive for the virus but will reduce sick pay for exposure related isolation.
MORE than 100,000 doctors, nurses and other vital NHS staff will disappear under Boris Johnson’s “folly” of sacking unjabbed workers, the Prime Minister was warned.
The cross-party alert comes after troops were drafted into hospitals with thousands of employees on sick leave through Covid or stress. Trade union bosses urged Health Secretary Sajid Javid to delay making Covid jabs mandatory by the end of March “with immediate effect”.
In an age of high energy costs and constricted supply, inflation and unemployment rose together. Forced to choose, governments and central banks decided to prioritise controlling inflation. Western governments made it harder for trade unions to strike, curtailing the ability of workers to demand higher wages. The US Federal Reserve then administered a severe monetary shock to the world economy. In driving interest rates up to exceptionally high levels, Paul Volcker, the chair of the Federal Reserve, accelerated the de-industrialisation of most Western economies.
This will affect the road haulage industry substantially, which already suffers from a HGV driver shortage of 59 thousand drivers according to an October 2019 FTA report. Government statistics show that there are approximately 300 thousand HGV drivers in the UK3, meaning if 20% of drivers are off sick at once, this will effectively temporarily double the driver shortage to 120 thousand. What this could mean on a short-term basis is that there is a marked increase in subcontracting out jobs to other hauliers, as some hauliers will be much harder hit than others in terms of driver numbers – due to various factors such as regional considerations and timing.