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Boots to offer voluntary redundancy to 500 staff

Non-store-based Boots staff can apply for voluntary redundancy next month, the multiple says

Boots will ask 500 of its support staff to volunteer for redundancy as part of plans to cull 700 non-pharmacy jobs, it has announced.

Some 3,400 staff based in its Nottingham headquarters – including any Boots pharmacists working in support functions – are eligible to apply for voluntary redundancy during a one-week period beginning on November 28, the health and beauty giant told C+D today (October 11).

"Store-based" pharmacists are not affected by the redundancy plans, it stressed.

"[Eligible staff] include pharmacists who are no longer working in a store environment, but have developed their careers by moving into support-based roles," a spokesperson for Boots said.

This might include pharmacists working in HR, pharmacy services proposition work and operations, they added.

Boots announced last June that it would cut 700 jobs in the UK  which it anticipated would be made up of staff working in its HR, finance, marketing, trading and operations teams  from 2017.

The plans would allow the multiple to invest more money in technology, such as its dispensing hub, it said at the time.

The job losses form part of parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance's global plans to restructure the company in a bid to save £1 billion.

Walgreens assured staff when it bought Boots in 2014 that the takeover would not lead to any job losses.

Will the planned redundancies affect you?

Jaz Kaur, Pharmacy

These pharmacists are getting redundancy money.  Store pharmacists get none, they have a spurious charge lodged against them or are managed out with the trash.

MICHAEL PARKER, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Is their head office still in Zug. I have just spent nearly six years &a small fotune renewing a lease of a shop that I own, Talk about bullying!!

Lets see how much of this gets deleted?


Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Some years ago, I had occasion to visit a Walgreens Pharmacy in Florida in the early hours. I was shocked to see only the pharmacist working behind a window with iron bars, there was no support staff in sight and she was sweeping the dispensary floor when I first approached the window. Am I surprised to learn Walgreens made enough money to buy Boots?
Walgreens will be waiting for remote supervision to come for them to take the next big leap forward, be warned, pharmacists are their biggest costs item.

Paul Miyagi, Information Technology

I have seen this in UK.   Pharmacists covering Chemist counter, photo dept etcetc and mopping the floors. All those pre-regs worrying about , will they pass or not" will have a shock in store for them. This is the fact of Pharmacy in UK today.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I was once offered a job by one of their regionals, he offered me £2k less than current and said the deduction was the "price for the privilege of working for Boots"! He also used to lecture us in LPC meetings and said "because of Boots dominance, what is good for Boots is also good for pharmacy in general". I did not accept his job offer. Can I name this guy on this forum?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Paul, you forgot the editor may be receiving serious money from Boots through various advertising and subscriptions.

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

I have to wonder about the impartiality of the editor in such publications. And judging from the amount of deleted posts how balanced are the views on here??

Paul Miyagi, Information Technology

Question to the C and D editor. What is the point of raising the volatile subject of Boots, then inviting people to comment, then deleting what they have to say if it does not fall within your parameters. None of the comments you deleted contained foul language or expletives, just expressing basically what Boots is like . I would suggest it "fires" people up even more by deleting their comments , stiffles further debate , and switches them off from contributing in the future. 

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

No response? What can one infer ?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Paul, you forgot the editor may be receiving money from Boots through various advertising and subscriptions, he or she has obligations to Boots. This is not about freedom of expression.

James Waldron, Editorial

Hi all,

I can see there are a few comments on the same issue, so I'll attempt to explain why certain comments are edited or deleted. 

Our commuity standards state that all comments must comply with the law - including UK defamation laws. By leaving up comments that refer to alleged negative business practices at any company, we run the risk of having legal action taken against us - unless we can prove the accuracy of those allegations. A number of comments made under this story fall into this category. And, while it is never our intention to stiffle debate or deny freedom of speech, all publications have to balance this against complying with the law.

I hope that sheds some light on why we have to take action before we can allow certain comments to remain on our website.

If you do have evidence to support allegations that you have seen deleted from the C+D site, please send them to [email protected]

Ghengis Pharm, Locum pharmacist

Please, it's stifle not stiffle !  (Stiffle is slang for something - look it up)

John Dow, Advertising

And what will happen to them then?????

Also if we place a comment and that has also appeared in a national newspaper are you prepared to re-quote their accusations ???? 

Andrew Weatherill, Community pharmacist

what are c&d community standards? do you edit offensive language or suggestions that boots are unethical b******* ?

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

*This comment has been removed for breaching C+D's community principles

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

You can post what you want now until the editor comes to work tomorrow morning.

R A, Community pharmacist

This illustrates the danger of merger and acquisition. M&A has turned community pharmacy into a very bleak sector to work in and the sector has also become vulnerable to NHS reimbursement cuts. As the NHS have cottoned onto the fact that community pharmacy is predominantly run by large co-operation which make a substantial profit compared to independents through scale up of operation and buying power. Therefore the NHS has altered payment to reflect this. The irony of this situation is that originally the multiples pursued M&A due to the generous payment structure for dispensing prescription. As this is no longer available they have pursued cost cutting measure of staff to sustain their quarterly profit levels. At the moment Boots are cutting non store staff but soon it will move into store. However I wonder how will they sustain patient safety at this rate and I wonder when will the GPhC step into protect the public from this?

Liz Jones,

R A, if you've ever worked for Boots in store , you should know that they've already cut staff to the bone. *This comment has been edited for breaching C+D's community principles*

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

What did you say that's so bad it was deleted?

R A, Community pharmacist

I can see them either having a pharmacist dispense and check or remove pharmacist and use remote supervision if that becomes legal. 

Liz Jones,

Yes RA, that is already happening in Boots small branches .Pharmacist checking, dispensing and I,ve seen some pharmacists doing the house keeping ( cleaning) as well. OMG

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Then there are pharmacists willing to be self-checking house keepers... 

Faustian pacts are misunderstood. Mephistopheles does not search for Faustus to corrupt him. Instead, he appears before Faustus as he knows he is already corrupt. They employ you, because in you they see something of themselves. What is it, in you, that they see? 

Nor are those who are served judicious. The British public do not care for much beyond price and convenience. Whether it be tax avoiders or employers of children in third world countries, the public spend their money with moral indifference. 

And here we come to the centre piece of all British culture - house prices! And by extension - paying the mortgage. This, the true driving force behind employee pharmacists and their apparent ethical dilemma. *This comment has been edited for breaching C+D's community principles

Liz Jones,

I get what you are saying Shaun , C + D started deleting everyones comment that touches a nerve , but at least these non store pharmacists are getting redundancy....

PS get used to living on £20k Yemisi when you qualify *This comment has been edited for breaching C+D's community principles

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Again what have you said?


Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Lots of removal of comments on this site. I thought it was mainly pharmacy professionals commenting??

Bal Singh, Locum pharmacist

Shocked not to see a qoute from Marc Donovan explaining how this is a "kick up the backside" to all staff and how Boots are "industry-leading" in staff reforms allowing them to make "a real difference” to the company balance sheet.


Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Next they will be employing one of those unscrupulous bankers that destroyed the world economy ........ a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Liz Jones,

Sorry to break it to you, they already have

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

They did

Stephen Walsh, Community pharmacist

He's now at Pharmacy2U.



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