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GMB@WILKOBulletin Issue 17 MARCH 2022 – COVID ABSENCE

GMB@WILKO Bulletin Issue 17 MARCH 2022

COVID ABSENCE

 

Dear Member,

 

The GMB are deeply disappointed that Wilko have released a change in policy without consulting the GMB representatives as per our standard procedure. If we had received any prior notification of these changes we would have objected in the strongest terms.  Our stance throughout the pandemic has been, and still remains, that team members should be paid for all confirmed Covid-positive absences with these being disregarded for absence management purposes.

 

Your GMB Representatives have been in discussions with Wilko around this and they have confirmed that their current stance is:

 

• If I test positive for COVID, do I have to stay at home for a period of time (5 days according to the reference guide)? While you’re no longer required by law to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19, team members should still stay at home for 5 days and avoid contact with other people. This helps reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others.

 

• What happens if I am still testing positive after the 5 day period? The guidance on the government website is to stay at home until you have a negative covid test.

 

• Will I be paid CSP/Authorised Absence if I test positive for COVID and subsequently have to stay at home? The team members will continue to be entitled to SSP if they do not have CSP entitlement, this has consistently been the approach. We continue to operate an enhanced company sick pay policy and support those team members most in need, including those with Covid-19.

 

• Will I be disciplined if I am absent with COVID – ie 2nd, 3rd, 4th occasion? No, there will not be a sanction trigger if you need to stay at home due to testing positive for covid.

 

Your GMB Representatives will meet further to discuss your concerns on Monday and will discuss further with Wilko on Tuesday.

 

We continue to meet the company on a bi-weekly basis to ensure we are protecting all members against Covid.

 

Any member that has run out of Sickness benefit will have access to payment under the exceptional absence process, in line with the agreed Wilko absence policy. Line managers should request this and GMB will be requesting Wilko to make this the standard process for confirmed COVID-positive absences. If you are not paid for a confirmed COVID-positive absence, you should speak to your GMB representative for advice on raising a formal grievance.

 

If any member feels they are not being treated fairly or has had sick pay removed, whether in relation to covid absence or any other reason please contact your local GMB representative.

 

Roger Jenkins, GMB National Officer

Posted: 21st March 2022

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