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.