PDA Union respond as Boots publicly confirm plan to sell 44 pharmacies

The PDA Union will be doing all it can to support PDAU members affected by the company's intention to sell 44 pharmacies in England and Wales as part of their plans to close 200 of their branches, as was publicly confirmed this week.

Wed 4th March 2020 PDA Union

The PDA is now formally recognised as the trade union representing pharmacists in Boots branches and as such the company are required to consult with the union in advance of any significant potential job losses or transfers. Discussions on how to support pharmacists in these stores are now part of the ongoing dialogue that exists with the company.

There are a number of scenarios that could occur for pharmacists and the PDA Union will be supporting any members as appropriate, these include:

  • If pharmacists are transferred to a new employer as part of a sale, under TUPE arrangements (Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment) then the PDAU will have discussions with Boots and the new employer and the PDAU recognition would transfer along with the pharmacists into the new employer
  • If pharmacists were to be potentially redundant then the union will be consulted and will support members in securing alternative roles within the company.  If no suitable alternative roles were available, we will be expecting them to receive adequate redundancy compensation and fair treatment as they try and seek alternative employment during any notice period. The suitability of an alternative role depends on each individual’s circumstances.
  • The Union will also be doing all it can for those other members impacted by this decision, for example if one branch closes (or transfers) this may increase volumes in remaining Boots branches nearby and those branches need to have enough physical space and staff to cope with that change. Such changes could also impact on the work of other pharmacists, such as those relief pharmacists who could find a long established schedule changed.  In such circumstances the employer needs to consider all such scenarios and make appropriate resources and support available.

Paul Day, PDAU Director said:

”PDAU members can be assured that their union will be working tirelessly to avoid job losses for pharmacists and we will be protecting their interests.  It’s important in these situations that any disruption caused to individuals is kept to a minimum and that everyone is treated with respect.

It is also often the case in such situations that out of date contracts cause added complexity, for example where the company and individual have different understandings of the location in which an individual can be required to work or the length of their notice period.  Those are just a couple of examples and we especially reiterate to those in the 44 pharmacies our general advice to all pharmacists, which is to make sure you have an up to date copy of your signed contract readily available at home.”


The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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