Boots ballot: Concerns remain over Boots data quality

As the ballot of Boots pharmacists on trade union recognition looms, fresh concerns have arisen about the quality of the name and address data which Boots have provided to the Central Arbitration Committee and which will be used for the distribution of ballot papers.

Fri 15th February 2019 PDA Union

Boots is legally obliged to provide the name and address details of all pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists eligible to vote.  On Monday 18th February ballot papers will be sent to the home addresses provided by Boots, however concerns are being raised about the quality of the data which the company have provided.

Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary of PDA Union explained: “We have all known this ballot has been coming for many months, so it is disappointing to learn that data quality remains an issue. Boots have continually told us that their data is accurate, but we are receiving complaints and concerns giving examples of where it clearly is not”

The union are receiving two main types of concern:

  • Eligible pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists saying they have received no communication to their home address at all, despite the union sending several communications to that address over the last 2 months; and
  • Occupants of addresses complaining they have received communications for the pharmacists that moved away months, or even years, ago.

The PDAU are unable to directly fix the data issues because under the law it is the employer who must provide the information.   Mark Pitt explained the consequences:

“Following an independent audit, we became aware that approximately 10% of the addresses provided by Boots to the election agent may be incorrect and that nearly 700 individuals are no longer resident at the address the company has given.   This means that some pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists may have, in effect, been denied access to the information we have been sending to home addresses and may not get a ballot paper unless this problem is rectified quickly.  This could affect if, or how, they vote.”

Advice to Boots pharmacists:

All registered and preregistration store-based pharmacists at levels 5, 6 and 7 who are employed by Boots Management Services Ltd are entitled to vote in this ballot.

If you have recently changed your address or if you are not receiving the PDAU communications, you should urgently talk to your line manager and check your home address is correctly recorded.  Please do so as soon as possible to ensure you receive your ballot paper on time.

Individuals are advised that If they have not received a ballot paper by 22 February 2019, please contact the CAC Case Manager, Linda Lehan, by email at  giving your full name and address.

You can also read the literature we have sent to the addresses provided here:


NOTE: In the previous ballot the inaccurate data provided by Boots led to an extension of the ballot period being granted, see: but at the moment the current ballot deadline fro receipt of completed ballot papers remains set at noon on Monday 11 March.

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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