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Independents ‘will face ruin’ with increased living wage pledge

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Umesh Modi: Many contractors are struggling to make ends meet already
Umesh Modi: Many contractors are struggling to make ends meet already

Many small chains and independent contractors “will face ruin” with the chancellor’s pledge to increase the national living wage to £10.50 by 2024, a pharmacy accountant has said.

Speaking at the Conservative party conference last week, chancellor Sajid Javid pledged to “give four million people a well-earned pay rise”, by increasing the national living wage from £8.21 to £10.50 over the next five years.

The government will also bring down the “age threshold for the national living wage” – which currently covers employees aged 25 and over – “to cover all workers over the age of 21”, Mr Javid said.

Chartered accountant and a partner at Silver Levene LLP Umesh Modi said although the chancellor’s pledge is “an admirable goal” and many of the larger multiples will be able to “weather the storm”, small chains and independent pharmacy contractors in England “will face ruin”.

“Many contractors are already struggling to make ends meet. How will they pay higher wages?” Mr Modi told C+D last week (October 3).

“Costs have increased significantly over the last few years and with non-inflationary-linked pharmacy funding to 2023-24, this additional burden will decimate many contractors and other businesses unless there is cost relief elsewhere.”

It could lead to some contractors “making further redundancies”, which is “unfair and counter-productive for the whole economy”, Mr Modi said.

“Mr Javid should think about reducing the red tape and administrative burden of running a business and giving business owners room to breathe,” he added.

In August, Lloydspharmacy’s CEO Toby Anderson “implored” the government to treat pharmacies the same as GPs by reimbursing their business rates.

11 Comments
Question: 
What impact will the chancellor's pledge have on your pharmacy?

Mayur Shah, Community pharmacist

Its about time pharmacies stop giving free services and ensure that all the services they do including MDS for non qualifying patients  and delivery are charged . Meagre  payments,from the new services, that we do hardly cover costs. We are giving away our profits and letting our staff, staffing levels,  morale , stress levels and viability suffer. We must unilaterally decide that all services must be paid for. Just to give an example the local council has set the parking on the high street near my house at £2.50 fo 1 hour!!!! How do people agree pay such exorbidant rates when the same  do not want to give us anything for a delivery service ......

R A, Community pharmacist

Independents ‘will face ruin’ with increased living wage pledge and I think thats what the government wants for pharmacy!

Stephen Kane, Community pharmacist

George Osborne, when Chancellor, promised a living wage over £10 per hour many years ago. So this news should not surprise anyone.

 No doubt the PSNC were wise enough to allow for this increase when they agreed a five year deal with no funding increase

Leon The Apothecary, Student

People should have had living wages years ago, in my opinion.

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

The independents I’ve worked for already pay a better than minimum wage......its the multiples where there will be an issue as all that has happened with previous increases to the minimum wage is that the pay scales have been compressed.....so now most support staff are getting paid the same regardless of their role/responsibility.......it’ll be interesting to see if the Pharmacist’s wage still stays the same.......

Julie Friday, Accuracy checking technician

I was told by a member of staff that works for one of the big multiples that Dispensers/Pharmacy Advisors (as they are called now) and customer advisors (shop floor staff) are all on the same hourly rate now.

ABC DEF, Primary care pharmacist

May as well work for Lidl for much less stress. Why would one want to work in a pharmacy while getting paid peanuts?

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

In many cases working for Lidl would be a step up with opportunity for career and financial progression. And that applies to Pharmacists as well as Techs, dispensers etc...

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Absolute mystery why someone would rather work in JD Sports for same/more money than the calming environment of a dispensary. 

R A, Community pharmacist

I spent a good few minutes trying to come up with just one reason why ANYONE would want to work in a pharmacy but can't think of anything postive. 

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Should be interesting. Less staff, Same or more work should lead to .............. patient safety.

 

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