Community Pharmacy Trade Unions call on government to facilitate talks on workplace safety

With increasing strains on PPE supplies and especially after the Prime Ministers announcement of changes to the lockdown rules in England, urgent discussions are needed to consider in much more detail the question of how the safety of staff working in community pharmacies can be maintained.

Thu 14th May 2020 The PDA

The PDA and Usdaw (Union of shop, Distributive and allied workers) have written a joint letter to Health & Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, calling on him to facilitate tripartite discussion between government, community pharmacy employer representatives and the trade unions to agree safe working practices across the sector.

With increasing strains on PPE supplies and especially after the Prime Ministers announcement of changes to the lockdown rules in England, urgent discussions are needed to consider in much more detail the question of how the safety of staff working in community pharmacies can be maintained.

Many community pharmacies have significant challenges with establishing social distancing for safe working in a service that requires most members of the team to be in close proximity to patients. Employees, locums and patients all need to know that community pharmacy is a safe place.

As is normal with NHS employers and across many sectors of industry, the legitimate representatives of employers and employees should sit down with government to agree acceptable arrangements going forward.

Mark Koziol said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Usdaw, our knowledge of pharmacy and their experience of retail settings is a powerful voice for the whole pharmacy team.

There are a plethora of organisations in pharmacy and each has a role to play. It is critical however that the conversation about health and safety in the workplace involves the right stakeholders. It must be those who have proven expertise and a legitimate mandate under employment legislation.

The views of employees, as represented by independent trade unions needs to be in the heart of those discussions. If the pharmacy team still feel unsafe at work it will be us they come to for advice and it will be us that will potentially support claims against employers.”

Read the joint letter below.

thumbnail of 20200514- Joint Community Pharmacy union letter to Matt Hancock

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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