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Joint statement – Boots & the PDA Union (30 December 2020)

The PDA Union and Boots have released their latest joint statement following further talks on the 2020 pay review which were facilitated by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

Tue 29th December 2020 PDA Union

Joint Statement

Following a series of constructive pay negotiations between Boots and the PDA Union, we are able to announce that an agreement has been reached in relation to this year’s pay claim, effective from 1 November 2020. The claim is for pre-registration pharmacists, provisionally registered pharmacists, pharmacists (including Relief Pharmacists, Care Services Pharmacists, Advanced Practitioners, and Specialist Practitioners) and pharmacist store managers in the bargaining unit for which the PDAU is recognised. Both sides thank ACAS for their involvement and for facilitating this agreement.

It has been a unique and challenging year, both Boots and PDA Union are proud of the work that pharmacists have done and continue to do to support Boots, our patients, our customers and communities.

In light of this agreement, Boots recognises and acknowledges the role played by the PDAU, and in particular its representatives drawn from the employed pharmacist workforce, during the pay discussions in presenting evidence-based arguments for the need to reward the commitment shown by their members during the pandemic.

Throughout the negotiations, both parties worked together to explore opportunities to appropriately recognise this contribution within the difficult trading and economic circumstances caused by the pandemic and the desire to preserve jobs wherever possible. At the same time as the negotiations between Boots and the PDAU were happening, the WBA Board of Directors met to review and close the WBA financial year at a global level. They also felt it was right to recognise the hard work and efforts of colleagues across WBA during the pandemic. On this basis, the WBA Board agreed a discretionary bonus payment for all bonus-eligible colleagues, which included those in the bargaining unit. This payment was made as a thank you for the dedication and efforts of pharmacists and all bonus eligible colleagues. It is recognised that the PDAU’s representation of its members, in particular the wish to acknowledge their commitment and professionalism during the pandemic, was a message that was clearly heard. All bonus-eligible pharmacists received a non-consolidated one-off gross payment equivalent to 55% of an on-target bonus, subject to the rules of the scheme.

Agreement has been reached on a number of matters that formed part of the PDAU claim. Many of these matters support equality, the wellbeing of pharmacists and a work/life balance for pharmacists. These include:

1. Abolishing the Northern Ireland pay rates by moving pharmacists in Northern Ireland onto the rate applicable to the rest of the UK.

2. An updated assessment of store levels and an associated market range realignment for store managers.

3. A commitment to look at pay differentials subject to an agreed ‘Terms of Reference for the Working Party’ notwithstanding Boots offers a market range for the role, for all pharmacists across the UK.

4. The immediate uplift in November 2020 of any salary paid to a substantively appointed and performing pharmacist that is below the market range for their role.

5. a) The introduction of a process for standby payments for pharmacists who volunteer to be available should there be a need for a pharmacist resource at short notice.

b) All pharmacists have a clear and understood working pattern in place enabling them to make plans for their time off.

c) Clarity on the existing pharmacist rest break policy and Responsible Pharmacist SOPs, to help pharmacists make appropriate decisions when taking their breaks.

d) Further improvements to the scheduling of bank holiday working, through collaborative working at the Joint Consultative Committee.

Further communications to members of the bargaining unit, providing more detailed information will follow from both parties. Boots will also communicate any necessary briefing to line managers.


Anne Higgins, Stores Director, Pharmacy

Paul Moloney, National Officer, PDA Union

NB: Boots pharmacists can access any company links referred to in joint statements from Boots and the PDA Union, via the version published on the internal “Boots live” platform.


You can also download the Joint statement by clicking the inmage:

thumbnail of Boots UK PDAU 2020 Pay Review Statement FINAL


Further information on this topic will follow in the coming weeks.

Related links

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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