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Boots to axe up to 350 managers

Boots: Consolidating store leadership

The company is also cutting staff's half-day Christmas holiday to pay for a pay rise

Boots will cut between 300 and 350 managers across its biggest stores, the health and beauty giant announced today (February 1).

As part of its attempt to "consolidate store leadership", it is beginning consultations with assistant store managers in "larger stores across the country", Boots said.

Some staff will be made redundant, while others will be retrained in different roles, it said. 

Changes to pay and bonuses

Alongside the management cuts, Boots announced an hourly pay rise for 40,000 staff alongside a new "incentive scheme to reward our best colleagues".

To afford this, it has axed the half-day holiday it gave staff for Christmas shopping, as well as a £50 voucher previously awarded to staff for 100% attendance, it told C+D.

"We hope that colleagues understand the need to do this to invest in the salaries of two-thirds of Boots colleagues who are hourly paid," it said.

The new bonus scheme will allow staff to choose specific health schemes, such as dental insurance, as well as allowing them to buy and sell holiday, it told C+D.

Boots will reveal more details about the new bonus scheme later this month, it added.

The changes will also see a pay increase for those in the newly-created pharmacy advisor role. Boots told C+D last month that 7,500 staff are training for the position.

Last June, Boots announced plans to cut around 700 non-pharmacy jobs to simplify its support operations.


What do you think of the announcement?

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Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Why would they even need to save money considering that the wholesalers are owned by them and their prices are more than double on most goods. For instance the typical box of generic own brand anti-histamines in Boots for a pack of 30 is over £8.*it's only around £2 everywhere else. It's all about making more profit rather than survival for these large multiples!!

Roderick, Other healthcare professional

 I don't see the attraction, of Boots, that other shoppers do, as supermarkets offer the same goods, except for No7. Money could be saved by reducing the bonus scheme for the senior managers.



C A, Community pharmacist

Boots memo - Hi guys, the nasty government is making us raise the wages of our hourly workers, but we don't feel like covering all the cost, as that would reduce the profits for the important people... so we are reducing your benefits, thanks for helping! Mkay. PS don't start taking sick days since we are no longer rewarding you for 100% attendance

John Schofield, Locum pharmacist

Bootspeak: To invest in our hourly paid staff.

The Truth: We have to increase the pay of hourly paid staff due to government legislation bringing in 'The Living Wage' .

At least my daughter's very large multiple told the truth when altering managers' bonuses, and made a one-off discretionary payment.

She thinks they are difficult employers, but they are angelic compared to the shoe shop.

I'm now retired and only enter pharmacies as a user. Boots prices are astronmomical, why anybody shops there instead of supermarket pharmacies amazes me.

Hopefully the middle class love affair with them will end soon.

Worst still the government connives with them and other multiples to screw pharmacists with restriction of contract, and ignores the rules that government contractors should pay fair tax.

Nitin Lakhani,

The anticipated global down turn, the NHS cut backs and efficiency drive, change in Pharmacy staff role at all levels and the rise in minimum wages will effect all of us. This means we will have to not only tighten our belts but also the way we work and deliver to our pay master.

Boots has added problems - extra costs of middle management, High street location with high rent and rates overheads, disproportional dependence on OTC and beauty care that is vulnerable from other High street and on-line competion, new savy owners focused on bottom line and little passion about GB, the NHS or the human element (It is just a money making bussiness to them) and finally the Inland has caught up with them and expecting a fair amount of tax paid in the UK for the money made in the UK. This too is a big burdon upon them.

It is too big a giant to be solely reliant on just one provider - the NHS with such low margins, so has no choice but to sell non-slip bath matts and high margin cosmetics to pay the bills.Tough times ahead for all of us but especially for the very large multiples.

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

I know, it's really sad. They did so much for the profession. I'm not sure who is going to report people to the GPhC now?

James Mac, Community pharmacist

Boots has always been absoloutely brutal in controlling its staff costs to protect its profits, and then tries to frame it in terms of helping staff out - as it does here.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

In many way, I think Boots is about profits and not pharmacy/pharmacists.

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

In every way.

Alternative Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

What a pity Boots beat The Pharmacists' Defence Association into submission. Boots Pharmacists have already been told their salaries will be reduced in the years ahead thanks to Immigration and Pharmacist Graduates far in excess to requirements. I feel so sorry for the newly-qualifieds entering this bear-pit. Pharmacists are at the mercy, or lack thereof, of their Employer.

M Yang, Community pharmacist

The PDA lost a battle, but not the war. I kept up to date with the developments on the union issue between Boots and the PDA, the latter had a lot of good material to work with and could have won. Except that someone from the government intervened, presumably some kind of gentle coercion was involved to make the high court change the final verdict. There are still other options open to the PDA through the European courts, but since we're facing an EU referendum any efforts will be overshadowed. It's best for the PDA to bide it's time. In the meantime, they're doing work to usher in rules for increased transparency e.g. whistleblowing, IPSIS.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

I'm sure it's all in the interestes of the patients. Lmao.

Niall Murray, Superintendent

Simple and stark. We are not part of the economic arena in which the decisions for society are made & we receive this economic wisdom without question. We are spectators not participants folks. This is just another axe wielded in neo-liberal fashion right at the coalface and designed to cause public sphere elimination alongside corporation liberation and wealth concentration at trhe top. We should be outraged at this. Que le rideau s'ouvre pour le Walmart intrusion.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

Being pragmatic for a second, surely staff are aware that to get half a day off with pay to go Christmas shopping is a rare perk which was always going to be under threat. That is part of the problem if you try to be a good boss by giving employees a bit more than they might expect as a perk - they start to think it is a right instead of the "nice to have" that, in reality, it is

Ms B Wilson, Pharmaceutical Adviser

All I have got to say is that the Americans do not sit still, - you know this!

Honest Tikes, Sales

"The changes will also see a pay increase for those in the newly created pharmacy advisor role"......who will replace pharmacists who we have to pay even more

Giedrius Vaiciulis, Community pharmacist

Welcome to Walgreens

Michael Brown, Pharmacy technician

Boots seems to have something of a sinking ship air about it at the moment

John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

This is what 6% cuts mean...ladies and is just ahead of the curb in trying to compensated for a 6% drop in revenue....

M Yang, Community pharmacist

It also helps when you don't pay any tax...

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

I wonder if the chemist and druggist  area manager is one of those getting the chop!

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Nah. He is a figment of the imagination.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Pretty sure I know who he works for.

C A, Community pharmacist

Good to see that pharmacy is being more "efficient" already, lucky that the DOH doesn't pay jobseekers/benefits...

Raymond Lee, Community pharmacist

Is this just the beginning?

Stephen Walsh, Community pharmacist

No. Just the latest in a long and shameful line of reductions to staff terms and conditions. Pay for the rise out of the money avoided in corporation tax you greedy ........

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

I visited a very large Boots store last weekend with my family and the atmosphere was in stark contrast to the nearby John Lewis where we purchased what we wanted. Cheaper, with more enthusiastic staff. Maybe customers are leaving Boots for some reason?

M Yang, Community pharmacist

Maybe it's just Chinese whispers, but from what I gather Boots is also losing a lot of staff too. Maybe without all those devil horned managers lurking about, the staff will breath easier and be happier?

Paul Miyagi, Information Technology

Yes they have been losing good loyal staff since Pessina took control . They are better out of Boots and not having to look constantly over their shoulder to see where the next daggers coming from . 

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