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Home  »   Latest NewsBootsTrade Unions   »   Boots yet to respond to PDA’s request to waive restrictions on pharmacists who face cuts to hours and pay

Boots yet to respond to PDA’s request to waive restrictions on pharmacists who face cuts to hours and pay

On behalf of members facing company-imposed cuts to their working hours, the PDA requested senior Boots management to waive the contractual clauses that prevent pharmacists from working for other pharmacy employers.

Tue 1st February 2022 PDA Union

Boots UK as yet to answer a formal PDA request to waive any restrictive clause that prevent employed pharmacists from working for other pharmacy employers, even after leaving the company.

Waiving the contractual restriction was an early request from members shortly after the company announced it’s plans to cut opening hours.

Genuine belief in a shortage?

Several community pharmacy employers have claimed there is a shortage of pharmacists, with the Community Pharmacy Workforce Development Group (CPWDG) publishing a report in the summer of 2021 describing the situation as “potential workforce crisisand in September 2021 it was reported that Community Pharmacy Scotland, was seeking to temporarily block pharmacists from securing alternative employment in GP practices.  Boots are represented by both contractor bodies.

One pharmacist said: “We are also still in a pandemic and Boots preventing pharmacists from working for others must surely undermine the overall community pharmacy capacity to deal with Covid.  I do not understand their reasoning especially if they actually believe there is a shortage of pharmacists.”

The PDA believes that if there is a genuine shortage, then preventing pharmacists from working for other pharmacy employers to replace lost hours would be counterproductive and further exacerbate any “shortage”.

Impact on individual income

Losing hours or being made redundant will reduce the income of pharmacists at a time of rising inflation and significant cost of living pressures, which is why the PDA has requested Boots to waive restrictive clauses and allow existing pharmacists who are facing redundancy, or cuts to their working hours, to replace those hours with work from other employers without restriction.

Pharmacists at Boots, many of whom are now being taken through consultation processes which could result in pay cuts or job losses are waiting to hear the company decision and the PDA will advise members once confirmation is received.

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