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24th Jan 2022

John Lewis to pay full sick pay for unvaccinated as it’s ‘not right’ not to

Kieran Galpin

John lewis

They don’t believe it’s right to treat people differently based on medical information

John Lewis has revealed that it will continue to allocate full sick pay for people needing to self-isolate – regardless of their vaccination status.

While many businesses like Morrisons and IKEA are doing the exact opposite, the high-end retailer has said it would not be “right” to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated staff members.

They added that they don’t “believe it’s right” to treat people any differently based on their private medical information.

John lewis

John Lewis’s Operations Director Andrew Murphy said he would “cast no judgement”, and added that the retailer was “not going to make any change of this type.”

Sharing his views on policy changes from companies on LinkedIn, Murphy said: “We’re conscious that some businesses have changed their sick pay policy with regard to unvaccinated employees in some COVID-related absence scenarios, [but] at John Lewis, we’re not going to make any change of this type.

“We’re hugely supportive of the UK vaccination programme… [but] we just don’t believe it’s right to create a link between a partner’s vaccination status and the pay they receive.”

He added that “very often, there’s just a choice between a range of unappealing options,” and “we cast no judgement on the decisions of any other organisation.

“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.”


Last week, Morrisons became the first UK supermarket to cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff. Chief executive Dave Potts believes it will push more people to get vaccinated.

Earlier in January, furniture retailer and all-around fun day out IKEA also made the same move.

“We appreciate that this is an emotive topic and all circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis,” an IKEA spokesperson said.

“Therefore, anyone in doubt or concerned about their situation is encouraged to speak to their manager.”

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