Tesco demand pharmacists wear uniforms "or resign"
We have been informed by some of our members that Tesco Stores Limited is introducing a uniform for all Pharmacist employees.
We have been informed by some of our members that Tesco Stores Limited is introducing a uniform for all Pharmacist employees. We understand that this has been confirmed by the company as being official policy however Pre-Registration Pharmacists and locums will not be required to wear the uniform.
What is of great concern to us is the manner in which Tesco Stores Limited have sought to introduce this change with some of our membership informing us that they have been told to wear the uniform and if they do not do so they will have to leave the business meaning they will be dismissed or should resign.
Employers are able to introduce changes to their employees' working environment or terms and conditions of employment however this must be done by firstly seeking your agreement to the change. The starting point should be to inform you of the change your employer intends on making and the reasons for the change. A process of consultation with a view to seeking your agreement should follow. We understand that this was not carried out.
From our discussions with our members the main concern they have is that they will not be easily identifiable as the Pharmacist to the general public. Many fear that if patients come to the pharmacy wishing to consult with a Pharmacist regarding something of a sensitive nature they may not realise a Pharmacist is on the premises and could leave the pharmacy resulting in some patients not receiving the advice they should and a loss to the business.
Perhaps more worryingly is the fact that as Pre-Registration Pharmacists will not have to wear a uniform there is a real danger of misleading the public in that they will be regarded as the Pharmacist by the public. Of general concern is the fact that as locums and Pre-Registration Pharmacists will not have to wear uniforms our members feel they are being treated differently as there is no consistency of approach. They feel that they wear professional clothing and do not also want to be inconvenienced by being limited to wearing two uniforms per week.
For those of you working for Tesco and who wish to know how to object to this change being introduced, we recommend that you write a letter of grievance asking the company to follow the formal grievance policy. You should set out exactly what you are complaining about and why. Having received your letter you will be invited to attend a grievance meeting to give you the opportunity to elaborate on your concerns. Following the meeting you will receive a letter notifying you of the outcome of your grievance.
Should you require any further advice please do not hesitate to contact our office. If sufficient numbers wish to follow the grievance route it will be possible to lodge a group grievance which will send a more powerful message to your employer.