The “recognition payment” is a way for Well to show its appreciation for its employees’ “remarkable” response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Well CEO Seb Hobbs said in a video released on YouTube earlier this week (May 12).
Praising Well’s “frontline heroes”, Mr Hobbs highlighted staff’s “courage, compassion and commitment to each other, to the Well brand and to our patients and customers”.
The multiple announced that the payment will be made to staff in one of two ways - either a £150 flat payment or “10% extra” on the average hours worked over four weeks.
A spokesperson for Well told C+D yesterday (May 14) that staff members including pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists, store managers, home delivery service driver team managers, and other frontline managers will receive the £150 payment, as they are salaried employees.
The 10% payment will go to pharmacy technicians, assistants, trainees, and delivery drivers, as well as warehouse operatives at Well’s Healthcare Service Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, and staff working in the company’s digital pharmacy, the spokesperson said.
The YouTube video also included a message from Well people director Jacqueline Lunardi. Ms Lunardi said the 10% payment will be calculated by looking at hours worked by staff across March, April and May.
She explained that Well is looking at all three months, rather than one, because it is “mindful that if somebody had to self-isolate due to COVID-19 symptoms for seven or 14 days and we chose the particular month that colleague was off, then they could be penalised.”
She added that staff must have been employed by May 1 and must still work for the company on July 2, which is when the payment will be paid, to qualify for it.
The payment, which is subject to tax and national insurance contributions, applies to Well employees across all four UK nations.
The spokesperson said the COVID-19 bonus was possible because of support from the company’s owner, Bestway, which “wanted to express their pride in how teams across Well have supported communities across the UK” during the pandemic.
“Our frontline teams have continued to serve their communities and support our most vulnerable patients throughout this period of uncertainty. I, along with everyone at Well and the Bestway Group, are proud of their commitment, compassion, and courage, and we’re pleased to be able to recognise their dedication in this way,” Mr Hobbs said.