Wilko pushes back sick pay changes due to Coronavirus pandemic

Having previously announced an end to sick pay for staff of less than a year’s tenure, homeware and household goods chain Wilko Retail has pushed back this change and stated that it will continue to pay sick pay to all staff who are absent due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus). 

Wilko is now classing leave due to Coronavirus as an exceptional absence; employees who need treatment, or are in self-isolation, will receive seven or 14 days as paid absence, aligned with the government guidelines.

Additionally, team members who are over 70 years old, pregnant, or classed as extremely vulnerable by the NHS, as well as those who need to self-isolate due to exposure to the virus, will be guaranteed full pay for 12 weeks.

A spokesperson from Wilko said: “As a high street retailer with strong family values, Wilko has been caring for its team members and customers through both the good and bad times for 90 years. There’s been considerable misinformation recently regarding our approach to sick pay and we’d like to set the record straight about how we’re supporting our team members through these difficult times.

“Wilko has paid company sick pay to team members absent with Coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak and continues to do so. This is over and above statutory sick pay.

“Regrettably, misuse of our absence policy has been present in some parts of our business for a long time and remains a significant challenge for us. We had planned to implement a change in April to address this misuse, however we appreciate now is not the time. So, those changes will now be introduced in September.

“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.”