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Law changes could gag disgruntled employees

Business Changes to employment law mean employees can now only claim for unfair dismissal after two years with a company – a move Pharmacist Support has warned will make workers "even more cautious" about raising concerns.

Changes to employment laws may prevent pharmacists from discussing work problems with their employers for fear of dismissal, charity Pharmacist Support has warned.

Pharmacist Support told C+D that changes to unfair dismissal laws, introduced by the government in April, could make employees "even more cautious about raising issues with their employer". The changes mean employees can now claim for unfair dismissal only once they have been employed for a minimum of two years, rather than one year.

Employees can now claim for unfair dismissal only once they have been employed for a minimum of two years

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And the charity argued that the new laws could make employees afraid to speak out about problems at work. "We [already] frequently receive enquiries on employment issues and these changes to the unfair dismissal laws will certainly impact our service users, who tend to be employees," said a Pharmacist Support spokesperson.

"With the qualifying period for unfair-dismissal claims being increased from one to two years, employees may be even more cautious about raising issues with their employer before the end of the two-year period."

The comments came after the Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) told C+D that the government was "riding roughshod" over employee rights with its changes to legislation – citing unfair dismissal as one example. "When there is a right-wing administration in office, it moves towards trying to erode the rights of employees and makes it easier for businesses to get rid of people they don't want to employ," PDA director John Murphy argued.

But Thorrun Govind, a pharmacy student looking for work, said she was not worried about the changes. "I like it because I think it's good for businesses," she said. "I think it's been too easy for employees to do what they want at work and I also think this ensures loyalty to the company."

Pharmacy Voice did not comment on the changes to legislation, but said it was important for employment law to "properly balance rights and responsibilities, security and flexibility".

How do you feel about these changes to employment law?

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Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Well Miss Govind is correct that it is good for business but disagree that it is easy for employees. Working in community pharmacy is not an easy career choice as it is a very challenging environment.

Chad Harris, Community pharmacist

"too easy for employees to do what they want at work"
Has this girl not set foot in a multiple or read any of the SOPs whilst doing a summer placement?
Yes Thorrun, we sit around all day, saying stuff the scripts, we'll do what WE want!!! And the poor AM says, OK chaps, no probs!

M Nazari, Community pharmacist

Its interesting that the view of a pharmacy student that is looking for job is added to the article rather then a employed pharmacist who has seen the changes over the years.

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Yes, it would also be interesting to know if this pharmacy student thinks the same in a few years time after working for a multiple.

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