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Former Sainsbury’s employees to commence legal proceedings against LloydsPharmacy

Almost 100 former Sainsbury’s pharmacists are set to commence legal proceedings against LloydsPharmacy to secure an entitlement to enhanced redundancy payments.

Sat 29th July 2023 The PDA

Former Sainsbury’s pharmacists have asked the PDA to support them in bringing a claim against LloydsPharmacy. This comes after hundreds of employees were made redundant earlier this year, with only basic statutory minimum compensation for the loss of their jobs.

Sainsbury’s employees who transferred in 2016 to LloydsPharmacy believe they are entitled to an enhanced redundancy payment, which formed part of their original terms and conditions at Sainsbury’s. Whilst their jobs and place of work remained the same, due to the change of employer the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE) apply. This legislation is meant to prevent contractual benefits from being removed by a new employer.

Benefits including the entitlement to enhanced redundancy pay should have been protected under TUPE when Sainsbury’s pharmacies were sold to LloydsPharmacy. However, after staff were informed they were at risk of redundancy, LloydsPharmacy stated that Sainsbury’s enhanced redundancy benefits had been removed and no longer applies. Instead, the company paid basic statutory redundancy compensation, the bare minimum it was obliged to in law. The difference between statutory and enhanced redundancy equates to thousands of pounds for individual pharmacists and for longer-serving employees the difference can be tens of thousands of pounds.

PDA Union General Secretary, Mark Pitt said, “PDA members tell us they feel badly let down and believe LloydsPharmacy have reneged on their obligations under TUPE. Nearly 100 members impacted by the company’s position sought the support of PDA to secure their entitlement.

Senior leaders in the company were given opportunities to correct this situation, firstly at a collective grievance hearing and subsequently at an appeal. However, the rejection of the grievance has left employees with no other internal options to resolve their complaints.

Union lawyers working alongside a specialist barrister in this complex area of law have now lodged multiple claims in the Employment Tribunal system on behalf of PDA members. Tribunal claims related to TUPE are complex and case law is continuously evolving so we will be monitoring developments as the evidence unfolds.”

Support, advice, and representation of this type is only available to PDA Union members who have joined prior to any dispute that may arise. PDA members who know a colleague who has not yet joined the PDA are encouraged to ask them to join today so that they can also benefit from PDA membership.

Although the PDA can only represent pharmacists, there are other unions suitable for pharmacy teams and colleagues can be encouraged to join an appropriate independent trade union for their role.

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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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