Responding to concerns from locums about whether the rebranding of the supermarket’s 281 pharmacies under the Lloyds name – which began yesterday (September 1) – would affect their contracts, lawyer Edward Pearce pointed out that self-employed locums are not covered by employment legislation.
“In a takeover situation, it is possible that locums will either be terminated or forced to accept major changes if they want to keep working,” said Mr Pearce, a lawyer at LHS Solicitors.
Some locums “may actually be employees” of Lloydspharmacy, Mr Pearce stressed. “Whether someone is employed or self-employed depends on the way their work is carried out, not on the labels used.”
However, the legislation “does not prevent short-service employees with less than two years of employment being terminated”, he added.
Lloydspharmacy offers assurances
Lloydspharmacy told C+D on Wednesday (August 31) that it has given “assurances that locum bookings at the time of transfer will be honoured”.
“We believe that Sainsbury’s will have booked locums 12 weeks in advance, as they usually do,” said William Jennings, Lloydspharmacy's Sainsbury’s integration lead.
In an email sent by a locum agency, and seen by C+D, Sainsbury’s pharmacy locums were told to read and accept Lloydspharmacy’s terms and conditions before August 31.
Protection for permanent staff
Lawyer Mr Pearce also said that permanent staff at Sainsbury’s pharmacies have the protection of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.
“This legislation protects the employee in a takeover situation by giving them express protection and making it difficult for the new business owner to change their terms of employment or terminate their engagement,” he added.