It is reported that Next are one of the first of the UK's retailers to implement a policy under which unvaccinated staff who are required to self-isolate do not receive company sick pay for this period. What this means is that they will receive the minimum statutory sick pay which is currently £96.35 a week rather than their full pay during this period. Other retailers who have implemented similar policies are Ikea, Morrisons and Tescos.  

From an employment law perspective, employers will need to be careful when applying this, as implementing a blanket policy without scrutiny may result in discrimination claims as there may be reasons related to a disability or a religion that mean a particular employee is not vaccinated. Reducing their pay in this circumstance may fall foul of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. 

Outside of employment law, there is also a practical concern that I can see in that this type of policy (which is aimed at reducing absenteeism) may in fact increase it. This policy is likely to disincentivise employees from being honest about their need to self-isolate as to do so will result in lost pay. Therefore they are more likely to attend work resulting in a higher spread of Covid in organisations with the resultant increase in absences. 

I can see that employers are between a rock and a hard place on this one!