A FORMER Ikea worker who was sacked after challenging company sick pay policies has won a settlement from the company following a campaign to reinstate him.
Richie Venton has received a settlement from Ikea following a dispute surrounding his dismissal from the company’s Glasgow store. Venton had originally lodged a claim with the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal which he has now dropped after receiving the pay out.
The Glasgow Times understands that Venton was sacked due to an alleged breach of confidence. As the shop steward for the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers he represented workers in meetings with Ikea’s management. The “Reinstate Richie Venton” campaign has claimed on their website, he was removed from his position in Ikea due to sharing details with colleagues about changes to sick pay policy.
The campaign also claims that Ikea workers who have had just a few absences will only be entitled to statutory sick pay of £95.85 per week if they have coronavirus. Only Ikea workers with perfect attendance will be paid their full wage for the first ten days of their absence which is four days short of the recommended two week self-isolation period.
A spokesman for the Reinstate Richie Venton campaign said: “We have now reached a settlement and have withdrawn the tribunal appeal for unfair dismissal.
“We would like to thank the hundreds of trade unionists who stood by us and thousands of people who signed the petition in support, the hundreds of trade unionists who protested in support and those from four continents who signed the petition sustained us throughout these months.”
“This experience has strengthened our determination and resolve to continue to fight on behalf of workers.”
“Workers face multiple onslaughts as employers try to make them pay the price of the Covid crisis. There are continued cuts, job losses and attacks on terms and conditions and sick payments.
“Our appeal to those workers is to get involved to ensure the power of the trade union movement is mobilised to protect workers from these attacks.”
A spokesman for Ikea said: “Unfortunately we are unable to comment on individual cases, owing to our obligations to co-worker confidentiality and data privacy.
“At IKEA, we continuously review our benefits and policies. In September we introduced an updated policy, taking a clearer, industry standard approach to general absence, placing a greater focus on co-worker health and wellbeing.
“For COVID-19 related absence, IKEA is working with a separate absence addendum, which is regularly reviewed.
“Should a co-worker be required to self-isolate, they will be paid in full for the isolation period except when a co-worker travels abroad and quarantine may be imposed whilst they are away.
“We remain committed to supporting our co-workers throughout the pandemic; ensuring that all were paid 100% of their contracted hours during closure and we have since launched a Covid-19 Emergency Fund, together with the retailTrust, which will be made available to those co-workers experiencing additional hardship as a result of the crisis.”