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Home  »   Latest NewsBoots Premium Payments   »   Boots Premium Pay Update – 9th May 2012

Boots Premium Pay Update – 9th May 2012

The recent decision by the Nottingham Employment Tribunal (ET) that the pay cuts imposed by Boots last year were unlawful has generated a considerable amount of interest amongst our members and prospective members.

Wed 9th May 2012 PDA Union

To keep pharmacists informed about what is happening; we will be issuing a series of updates of which this is the first.

We have yet to hear formally from the Company regarding its position for those pharmacists who were not part of the original tribunal claim. We have become aware of a briefing document very recently circulated to managers, which can be viewed here. The wording used in the briefing would indicate that the company does not plan to appeal or possibly that it has been advised it would stand no chance of being granted leave to appeal. However Boots have 42 days following the judgement to decide whether to appeal.

This briefing document confirms our initial suspicions that the company will be taking a hard line approach, even though it was judged to have acted unlawfully when it cut premium pay. Boots appears to be planning to stop anyone who did not participate in the original tribunal claim from benefitting from the judgement on the grounds that by not having brought a claim, its employees have therefore accepted the changes and cannot now benefit.

The PDA Union legal team are of the view that Boots pharmacists fall into two distinct categories:

1. Pharmacists who raised grievances and then signed up as named individuals in the group claim heard at Nottingham Employment Tribunal

  • These pharmacists will benefit from the judgement by being recompensed for any losses and their premium rates of pay reinstated. PDA Union lawyers are currently in discussions with Boots lawyers to agree how this will happen and members falling into this category will be contacted individually. If agreement cannot be reached on the sums payable in arrears we will ask the judge to determine the award.

2. Pharmacists who raised a grievance or complaint but did not join the group ET claim, pharmacists who claim they were dissuaded from raising a grievance by a Boots manager or an advisor and those pharmacists who did not take any action in response to the premium pay cuts.

  • According to the briefing we have seen, the company has indicated that it will not allow any of those pharmacists in the 2nd category to benefit from the judgement. Employment Judge Britton unequivocally determined that Boots had acted unlawfully in June 2011 when it imposed the premium pay cuts. Following the judgement we believe that Boots has a legal and moral responsibility to rectify its unlawful actions and must reinstate premium pay to all those affected, regardless of whether they brought legal proceedings or not.
  • It is inconceivable that any employer found to have acted unlawfully would continue to act unlawfully merely because its employees did not initiate legal proceedings. The Employment Judge determined that by raising grievances and in their subsequent stance, he was wholly persuaded that the claimants did not accept the change and worked under sufferance. He dismissed Boots argument that there was any acceptance by the claimants.
  • Our legal team will be supporting those members who wish to challenge this position by Boots. Anyone falling into this second category, who has contacted the PDA Union following the judgement and expressed an interest in seeking to have their premium pay reinstated will be contacted in due course by the PDA Union legal team.

The unlawful cuts to premium pay imposed by Boots have generated an unprecedented amount of interest at the PDA Union and we are committed to securing a positive outcome for as many Boots members as possible. Each case will be decided on its own merits and we will update members regularly through our website.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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