Express. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. SHOPPERS have turned on high street retailer Wilko after it emerged the business was set to slash staff sick pay – as coronavirus fears sweep the nation.PUBLISHED: 02:27, Fri, Mar 6, 2020 | UPDATED: 02:58, Fri, Mar 6, 2020 Wilko, which has a long history of disputes…
Wilko, which has a long history of disputes with its staff, made the announcement on the day the UK recorded its first death from the deadly infection. In a statement, the shop said that from April 1 sick pay will no longer be paid to any staff member following a second illness absence. Although unrelated to the coronavirus, it decision comes at a critical time for business-employee tensions over how they should be handling the potential outbreak.
Wilko has said that coronavirus cases among staff would be treated as an “exceptional circumstance”.
According to The Sun, a spokesperson for the firm said: “We have been a family friendly company for 90 years and we remain so.
“We have a generous company sick pay policy which is over and above the market.
“In some areas of our business, absence levels are double that of the industry standard and this is a real concern for us.
Coronavirus news: Shoppers in fiery threat to Wilko after sick pay SLASHED (Image: GETTY)
In a statement, the shop said that from April 1 sick pay will no longer be paid (Image: GETTY)
“Our plan is to take steps to bring our company sick pay into line with the industry standard for retail to be competitive in the marketplace for our customers.
“This is not related in any way to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“As a responsible business we are following Public Health England advice, should any team members need time off as a result of Covid-19, they will be paid company sick pay as an exceptional circumstance.”
However, their explanation infuriated shoppers, who took to social media to threaten a boycott of the business.
Wilko has said that coronavirus cases among staff would be treated (Image: GETTY)
One wrote: “Very bad timing, but bad at ANY time for the poor workers who daren’t fall sick twice in same year!
“I thought Wilkinsons was a better company than that!”
Another said: “You’ve lost my custom forever!”
A third replied: “I regularly used used to shop in Wilko Sutton.
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However, their explanation infuriated shoppers (Image: GETTY)
“Not anymore until you reverse this sick pay decision for your staff.”
But, not everyone was angry at the retailer.
A fourth added: “Before you boycott Wilko, remember most retailers pay no sick pay at all other than SSP and most have an automatic disciplinary process depending on the number of absences.”
Workers who have been employed by the firm for over a year will be entitled to one leave of sick, while those who have been with the business less than a year will get no sick pay entitlement.