The PDA said it has received “a number” of reports from members working part-time at the multiple who have been approached to “terminate their employment”.
In a message to Lloydspharmacy members sent last Friday (April 6), the PDA Union alleged some part-time pharmacists have been “pressurised” by “company managers” into “making rapid decisions about whether they wish to accept a confidential financial offer to terminate their employment with the company immediately, or be put through a redundancy exercise”.
“Our understanding is that double cover” – the notion of having two pharmacists operating in one pharmacy at a time to cover services and responsible pharmacist activities, for example – “is being removed, which will impact predominately on those pharmacists with term-time, job-share and part-time working arrangements”, the union added in the letter.
“Removing double cover from a number of branches” would mostly affect females at Lloydspharmacy, who are most likely to hold these roles, PDA director of defence services Mark Pitt told C+D.
Lloydspharmacy: There is no “national redundancy programme”
Lloydspharmacy told C+D this afternoon (April 9) that while it “continuously reviews [its] skill mix and colleague staffing levels in all stores...there is no national redundancy programme, removal of 'double cover'...or targeting of part-time workers”.
“Many factors impact on customer and patient demand at store level, including competitor activity, market changes and consumer behaviour,” Lloydspharmacy said. “We see many fluctuations across our store network, which may result in increased demand in some stores and a reduction in demand for others.”
“Where customer needs require changes in our stores, we will always have a conversation with impacted colleagues to discuss changes to hours or location,” Lloydspharmacy added.
The multiple did not specifically respond to C+D's question on whether individuals have been offered financial incentives to terminate their employment.
It confirmed Steve Howard and Andrew Gibb, superintendent pharmacist and retail operations director at Lloydspharmacy's parent company Celesio UK, had met with the PDA “a couple of weeks ago” to discuss “several topics of mutual interest”.
The PDA's Mr Pitt told C+D that although the PDA Union's email was prompted by “three or four” complaints from Lloydspharmacy members, the organisation has now received up to “a dozen” in total.
The PDA Union said Lloydspharmacy employees should contact the organisation for advice if concerned.