Worksop-based Wilko moves to ‘set the record straight’ over sick pay cut

Worksop-based Wilko has put plans to slash workers’ sick pay on the backburner after a public backlash.

By Ben McVay
Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 26th March 2020, 9:21 am

The huge homeware retailer had planned to cut sick pay for employees with less than a year’s service next month.

Under the plans long-standing staff members would be limited to just one day’s sick pay per year.

Wilko claims the measures - which have now been delayed until September due to the coronavirus outbreak - are being brought in to tackle ‘misuse’ of their absence policy - which remains a ‘significant challenge’.

Wilko Head Office in Worksop

The 90-year-old firm’s announcement earlier this month was met with widespread condemnation.

A GMB union petition against the move was signed by 3,369 people while one created by 38 degrees attracted over 130,000 signatures.

The national chain says there has been ‘considerable misinformation’ regarding their approach to sick pay adding ‘we’d like to set the record straight about how we’re supporting our team members through these difficult times’.

In a statement a spokesman told how Wilko had paid ‘company sick pay’ to staff absent with COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak and continued to do so.

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The spokesman added that Wilko was classing COVID-19 as an ‘exceptional absence’ and treating the need for self-isolation for 7 or 14 days as paid absence.

They said: “To further illustrate the depth of care we’re offering our team members we’re introducing an enhanced package of support for our most vulnerable team members.

“Those who are over 70 years old, are pregnant or those classed by the Government as extremely vulnerable and who need to self-isolate are guaranteed full pay over the next 12 weeks.

“We’re saddened to see people who don’t know the extent of care we’re offering our team members asking people to ‘block Wilko’.

“This is irresponsible at a time when our loyal and hardworking team members are pulling out all the stops to ensure families across the UK can buy the essentials they need for their homes during these extraordinarily challenging times.

“We think we should all be supporting each other and sticking together.”