Morrisons Cuts Pay for Unvaccinated Workers who are ‘Pinged’

October 1, 2021

 

Morrisons, the UK’s fourth biggest supermarket, has announced that from 1 October 2021, it intends to cut sick pay for unvaccinated workers who need to self-isolate. However, the cuts will not apply to individuals who have not yet had a chance to receive both vaccinations or those who experience Covid-19 symptoms.

The Chief Executive of the supermarket has confirmed that the new policy is designed to encourage workers to receive the Covid-19 vaccination and to mitigate the significant drop in profits caused by the pandemic. However, concerns have been raised that unvaccinated employees may choose not to self-isolate if they start experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, due to a lack of sick pay.

Is it legal to cut sick pay for unvaccinated workers?

Arguably – yes. However, by introducing this policy, there is also a significant risk that employers could potentially face indirect discrimination claims from employees with protected characteristics who have been unable to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. For example, if an employee has been advised against receiving the Covid-19 vaccination due to a health condition, an employer may be vulnerable to an indirect disability discrimination claim.

Are there other measures employers can take to encourage employees to receive the Covid-19 vaccinations?

Yes – there are many, less drastic, steps an employer can take to encourage uptake of the Covid-19 vaccination in the workplace. These could include simply educating staff by sharing practical information from trusted resources such as the NHS website or offering paid leave for vaccination appointments.

Vaccinations in the workplace is a sensitive and complex legal issue. For more practical tips on the do’s and don’t’s of managing vaccinations in the workplace, please see our latest guidance here.

If you are considering introducing a Covid-19 vaccination policy or if you need more tailored advice on how to manage vaccinations in the workplace in the best possible way with as little risk to you, contact Damian Phillips on dphillips@darwingray.com / 02920829126 for an initial free, no-obligation conversation.

 

 

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