John Lewis has said that it will continue to pay all its staff full sick pay if they have to self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.
The retailer says it would not be “right” to differentiate.
Following the recent confirmations by retailers IKEA, Ocado, Next, and Morrisons that they would only pay the legal minimum sick pay to unvaccinated staff if they are required to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, John Lewis – which currently employs around 70,000 people in the UK – says it doesn’t “believe it’s right” to treat jabbed and unjabbed workers differently.
John Lewis’s Operations Director Andrew Murphy said he “cast no judgement”, and he added that the company was “not going to make any change of this type”.
Taking to LinkedIn to share his views on vaccination requirements in the workplace, Mr 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.
“Leadership teams from every business have had to work incredibly hard to navigate the COVID years [as] 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’re conscious that some businesses have changed their sick pay policy with regard to unvaccinated employees in some COVID-related absence scenarios, 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 continued in his statement: “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.”
At present, people who had had at least two doses of a COVID vaccine are not required to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone infected – but by law, people who are unvaccinated and are contacted through the government’s ‘Test and Trace’ system must self-isolate for 10 days.
As mentioned, unjabbed employees at companies including Morrisons, IKEA, Ocado and Next who are told to isolate only get statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week, unlike their jabbed colleagues who get full sick pay.
Any worker who tests positive for COVID at these retailers will get full sick pay though, regardless of their vaccination status.
While it appears a growing number of companies in the UK are following a US-style model of slashing sick pay for unvaccinated staff, John Lewis joins other supermarket retailers Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Asda who are continuing to provide full sick pay for all employees when they are when they are isolating.
Rudy’s is opening a new pizzeria and pizza school in the former Dawson’s Music site
A year on from the initial news that Rudy’s would be taking over the old Dawson’s Music site on Portland Street, bosses behind the chain of neighbourhood pizzerias have finally hinted towards the new site’s opening date.
Revealing it is set to open in Manchester city centre this spring, they also shared the news that the new 8,000sqft location will be home, not just to another restaurant, but also to Rudy’s very own pizza school.
Billed as a ‘world-class destination for pizzaiolo talent’, the new pizza academy will take just over half the space – providing a structured training programme to both experienced pizza chefs and novices. It is set to welcome over 100 pizza chefs in this first year.
The restaurant, meanwhile, will span the rest with room for 120 covers. It will be Rudy’s sixth pizza restaurant in Manchester.
The new location at Portland Street will also be the HQ for Rudy’s Bake at Home, back by popular demand.
Serving the perfect and classic Neapolitan pizza since 2015 from its original Rudy’s in Ancoats, the acclaimed pizzeria has since opened 16 sites across the UK, with the new 120-cover pizzeria in Portland Street being its sixth location in Manchester.
Born out of passion for pizza, Rudy’s follows the authentic Neapolitan tradition of pizza making, serving classic recipes such as Marinara, Margherita and Calabrese – all originating from Naples, the birthplace of pizza.
Rudy’s has been praised by many as one of the best pizzerias in the UK, it is renowned for its consistency and quality in Neapolitan pizza making. On a mission to pave the way in pizza making all accordance to a truly authentic Neapolitan technique, Rudy’s is proud to open Rudy’s Pizza Academy at the new Portland Street location.
Jos Goncalves, manager at Rudy’s Portland Street, said: “We are delighted to announce that our next Rudy’s pizzeria will be located on Manchester’s bustling Portland Street.
Manchester has been home to the Rudy’s famiglia since we first opened in Ancoats in 2015, and we can’t wait to open our latest pizzeria, with the addition of our first Pizza Academy in the city this spring”.
Featured image – Rudy’s
Watch as Ed Sheeran debuts new music for the first time ever at ‘intimate’ Manchester gig
Now normally, when an artist chooses to take some brand new material out on tour for the first time, they’ll test the waters with a few intimate shows.
Just recently, we’ve had both Fall Out Boy and Blossoms at Band on the Wall, The 1975 at Gorilla, and Jason Manford in a beer garden.
But for Ed Sheeran, his idea of ‘intimate’ is… the AO Arena. That super cosy 21,000-capacity venue. Ah.
After selling out FOUR nights at the Etihad Stadium last summer, though, the chance to see Ed on stage in an arena again is a novel one, and it sold out the venue in minutes.
The ‘Shape of You’ singer announced this surprise arena tour just weeks before he took to the stage, in support of his upcoming sixth album Subtract.
This mini tour kicked off in Manchester last night – meaning our city got to hear new track ‘Eyes Closed’ live for the first time ever.
You can watch the highlights from Ed Sheeran at the AO Arena in the video below