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Sainsbury’s locums could face ‘major changes’ under Lloyds

Edward Pearce: It is possible locums contracts will be terminated in a takeover situation

Sainsbury’s locums could potentially face “major changes” in the wake of Lloydspharmacy’s takeover, an employment lawyer has warned.

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.

Are you a locum who has transferred across from Sainsbury's to Lloydspharmacy?

Stephen Walker, Community pharmacist

T&C's depend on the nature of the locum agreement. We use locum contracts at Nightingale Pharmacy Services which bind both client and locum equally and do not allow short term cancellation by either party. We've been doing this for 20 years and it works fairly in a profession that at times seems to wish to pick and choose when it is expedient to behave as professionals. Our word should be our bond.

R A, Community pharmacist

Given the demise of this profession I think any sane person should be investigating possible alternative career option.

dave k, Community pharmacist

Locums have been booked til November 2016 and llodys will honour rate. After that llodys will be booking locums. Do not see the point of this article


Amal England, Public Relations

Eddy/James, please tell me something I don't know. Give some info that will enlighten me, some inside info. The article is a mish-mash written for Joe Public! How has Lloyds been treating locums in existing branches? How has Lloyds been treating its own staff? The ToC are in the public domain, so advise locums what they should be weary of or not sign up to? My newly recruited counter assistant can do better than this.

Boom Shakalaka, Locum pharmacist

Thankfully not - can't imagine there being much difference in transferring from one numpty outfit to another.

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