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Tesco pharmacy staff will be spared from 9,000 job cuts

Tesco said it expects around 90 stores to close their food counters
Tesco said it expects around 90 stores to close their food counters

Tesco pharmacy staff are not among the 9,000 employees set to lose their jobs at the supermarket, C+D can reveal.

Tesco is cutting up to 9,000 roles, although as many as half of these could be redeployed to other customer-facing positions, it said in a statement this week (January 29).

When asked by C+D, the supermarket said these cuts would not affect the company’s more than 300 in-store pharmacies.

Instead, it expects around 90 stores to close their food counters, with the remaining 700 running on a full-time or “flexible” basis, because customers are using the counters less frequently, it added.

Last October, C+D reported on how Tesco and Asda were weathering the financial challenges.

View Tesco pharmacy positions on C+D Jobs.

Has your pharmacy made any staff cuts in the past year?

John Ellis, Community pharmacist

Tesco pharmacists will have to make a deal with the devil to run their pharmacies. I really have no idea how they can run a pharmacy safely, with long opening times, ever increasing prescription volume and ever reducing staff hours.

Graham Turner, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

If I was a Tesco pharmacist, then reading in the C&D that my job is safe I would think the exact opposite!

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Redeployed to other customer-facing positions. Would a pharmacy staff member want to go do something completely different? I would think the majority wanted to work in a pharmacy, not be degraded to something less - I would wonder if that would be grounds for constructive dismissal by way of forced demotion.

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

I doubt it. I've heard pharmacy staff not  wanting to work in the pharmacy anymore because of stress and they don't get paid much anyway. I've even seen a manager went to a lidl next door to stack shelves because she couldn't take that stress anymore!

Graham Turner, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Can't blame them, sitting on a chair at a till is almost certainly more relaxing than dealing with the stress of a very busy and understaffed pharmacy, and if the pays the same, as it often is, then it's a no-brainer. I'd much rather run a McDonalds than a pharmacy, and I would get paid more, too!

Richard MacLeavy, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

I was very surprised to hear that the pharmacies were spared. I think it won't be long before Tesco takes the same approach to pharmacy though as they are inevitably more expensive to operate than a meat/fish counter, most pharmacies are quiet, some are very quiet, I would estimate most are loss making and its a whole other level of complexity, which of course was one of the reasons cited for closing the counters. 

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

the reason why they are not cutting staff is because there are no staff to cutt

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

So true. In my experience, at least two hours of every shift, either at the start or end of the day is done alone in defiance of Tesco's own, printed protocol, so you can't cut what you ain't even got.

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

I bet they still get told they are 'overstaffed'. How can you be overstaffed when it's so severely understaffed?

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

For now it is. It won't be long until they close down branches like Lloyds did. 

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

Yes, i think, the pharmacy department will be the next to be scaled down. The sector is adequately funded by the tax payer, are profitable, but not profitable enough for the greedy management.Their closure will be good news for the independent sector!!. I have already witnesses a drift away from these corporate multiples to the independents.


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