U.K. supermarket, Morrisons, has become the latest employer in Britain to cut sick pay for its unvaccinated staff who are required to self-isolate under coronavirus regulations, it has emerged.
The company has informed its staff that those who refuse the Covid-19 vaccine and are subsequently required to isolate after being exposed to the virus, will now only be eligible for statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week.
The change will only apply to workers who test negative for Covid-19 in these circumstances, and unjabbed employees who test positive for the virus will still receive their full employee sickness benefits.
A spokesman for the Bradford-based firm said: “Colleagues who need to isolate because they have been in contact with a positive case; and are unvaccinated — and don’t have mitigating circumstances which mean they couldn’t be vaccinated — are entitled to statutory sick pay.”
Morrisons follows other large employers in Britain to introduce such a measure, as businesses attempt to find ways to mitigate the financial losses they have incurred during the pandemic.
Online retailer Ocado, the clothing store Next, and the Swedish home furniture store Ikea, have all implemented similar measures, which critics describe as blatant discrimination against individuals who opt against receiving the vaccine.
“We appreciate that this is an emotive topic and all circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis, therefore anyone in doubt or concerned about their situation is encouraged to speak to their manager,” an Ikea spokesperson had previously told reporters.
Morrisons is the U.K.’s fourth-largest supermarket, employing 110,000 people across its 497 stores, warehouses and distribution centers.
The news sparked a social media storm which saw #BoycottMorrisons trending in the U.K. on Tuesday, as a number of disgruntled consumers expressed their outrage at the announcement.
A former U.K. Brexit Party MEP, James Wells, told the supermarket: “My family will no longer shop at your Risca store. I will also ensure everyone I know is aware of this attempt to coerce and bully staff who refuse a new type of drug still in trials. Disgusting!”
Other social media users piled in, insisting they would boycott the store until it reviewed the “discriminatory policy.”